Mechanical issues halt production at Gorgon LNG

Chevron Australia Pty. Ltd. reported on Apr. 6 that LNG production at the Gorgon project on Barrow Island offshore northwestern Western Australia has been temporarily halted due to mechanical issues with the propane refrigerant circuit on Train 1 at the plant site.

The propane refrigerant circuit is a closed system used to cool gas supplied to the plant. Work necessary to complete the repairs is ongoing while the site team continues equipment inspection and assessment.

Chevron said the initial findings of an assessment team suggest the repair work is of a “routine nature” and that all the needed materials and equipment for the job are already on site at Barrow Island. A restart of the plant could take as long as 2 months.

LNG production from Train 1—the only one of the planned three to be brought on stream so far—began Mar. 7, with peak output reaching 90,000 boe/d (OGJ Online, Mar. 7, 2016). Train 1 ramp-up to full capacity is still expected to occur over 6 to 8 months from initial start-up. Construction activities continue to progress on Trains 2 and 3 with timing not affected by the work on Train 1.

The first and only LNG cargo departed Barrow Island on Mar. 21 and was delivered on Apr. 6 to Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc. in Japan (OGJ Online, Mar. 21, 2016).

The Chevron-operated Gorgon project is a joint venture of the firm’s Australian subsidiaries with 47.3% interest, ExxonMobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC each with 25%, Osaka Gas Co. Ltd. 1.25%, Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. 1%, and Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc. 0.417%.

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