Valid until yearend 2069, the expansion approval has numerous stringent environmental management, monitoring, and reporting conditions attached.
At this stage, however, Chevron has little inclination to move into a Train 4 mode.
The company and its joint venture partners recently began production with Train 1, while Trains 2 and 3 are still under construction. Train 1 was shut down for repairs for 2 months soon after coming on stream, but is now back online.
The JV’s priority is to complete the foundation project of three trains and has yet to make a decision to proceed with planning of a fourth.
Train 2 is due to come online later this year with Train 3 6 months after that.
The collapse of crude oil prices and oversupply in the global LNG market has dampened enthusiasm for further expansion in the short term, although there appears to be plenty of gas in undeveloped fields in the Greater Gorgon region to support a fourth train.
Nevertheless the government approval and its timeframe does provide environmental certainty should a decision to proceed with Train 4 be made in the future.