Wheatstone LNG Terminal

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.
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Wheatstone LNG Terminal is an LNG terminal in Western Australia, Australia.

Location

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Train 1 Project Details

  • Parent: Chevron (64.14%), Kufpec (13.4%), Woodside Petroleum (13%), Tepco (8%), Kyushu Electric Power (1.46%)
  • Location: Ashburton North, Pilbara, Western Australia, Australia
  • Coordinates: -21.6978845, 115.001141 (exact)
  • Capacity: 4.45 mtpa
  • Status: Operating
  • Type: Export
  • Start Year: 2017

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day

Train 2 Project Details

  • Parent: Chevron (64.14%), Kufpec (13.4%), Woodside Petroleum (13%), Tepco (8%), Kyushu Electric Power (1.46%)
  • Location: Ashburton North, Pilbara, Western Australia, Australia
  • Coordinates: -21.6978845, 115.001141 (exact)
  • Capacity: 4.45 mtpa
  • Status: Operating
  • Type: Export
  • Trains: 2
  • Start Year: 2018

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day

Background

Wheatstone LNG Terminal is an LNG terminal under development in Western Australia, Australia.[1] Its estimated worth is $30 billion.[2]

In 2017 it was discovered that the petroleum resource rent tax had failed to collect billions of dollars in revenue north-west Australia. According to research at Monash University, Wheatstone LNG Terminal, Pluto LNG Terminal, and Ichthys LNG Terminal are not subect to commonwealth royalities.[3]

Chevron planned to complete its Wheatstone LNG project summer of 2017.[4]

Chevron announced in October 2017 it has started producing LNG at Wheatstone project in Australia. It plans to ship its first cargo soon. Woodside plans a 15% production growth over the next three years.[5]

Reuters reported in October 2017 that the LNG market will be sharply focused on how Wheatstone progresses following the troubled beginnings at Chevron’s larger Gorgon LNG Terminal. Natural gas fields offshore of Western Australia feed both Gorgon and Wheatstone.[5]

Reuters reported in October 2017 that Wheatstone is the sixth out of eight projects in a $200 billion Australian LNG construction boom with two more facilities to be launched. The two remaining are Shell’s Prelude Floating LNG Terminal and Ichthys LNG Terminal owned by Japan's Ichthys.[5]

In June 2018, the terminal's second train became operational.[6]

In December 2020, Chevron temporarily shut down a gas-liquid separator unit following the discovery of an "anomaly" in an inlet separator vessel nozzle.[7]

Natural gas in Australia

As of 2017, Australia is the second largest LNG exporter after Qatar. The country exports almost 44 million tons a year. [8]

Environment

In 2015 The Guardian reported that Australia’s top 20 emitting facilities include the Wheatstone LNG Terminal, Gorgon LNG Terminal, Ichthys LNG Terminal, and Pluto LNG Terminal.[9]

An 2011 EPA report on the Wheatstone project claim it would “substantially” increase the West Australian state’s total greenhouse gas output, emitting 10m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. This was a 13.5% increase on the state’s 2006-07 emission levels.[2]

In 2012 Wheatstone applied and was granted an exemption to state emissions regulation.[2]

In 2015 the Prime Minister of Australia approved rules for its Direct Action climate policy. Energy watchers claim will allow LNGs to increase greenhouse emissions.[9]

Bloomberg published an article in 2017 claiming the Wheatstone LNG Terminal is designed to let other producers use its equipment to liquefy their gas. Woodside is pursuing a similar strategy. It is courting energy giants as Exxon and Shell and trying to convince them to let go of plans for building new LNG facilities in favor of feeding gas into its Pluto LNG Terminal.[4]

The Wheatstone and Woodside strategy of sharing facilities with competitors is likely a lesson from Curtis Island. The island's three plants in Australia (Australia Pacific LNG Terminal, Gladstone LNG Terminal, Queensland Curtis LNG Terminal) as an example of having exorbitant infrastructure duplication that it could have saved $10 billion on the combined $70 billion LNG projects. The three LNGs built separate jetties that now crowd the coastal land. Shared facilities, pipelines, and roads could have produced the same amount of fuel with less damage to the coast.[4]

Articles and resources

References

  1. Wheatstone LNG Terminal, Wikipedia, accessed April 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Calla Wahlquist,"West Australian $30bn LNG project allowed to have no carbon emission targets," The Guardian, January 3, 2015.
  3. Gareth Hutchens,"Australia must charge royalties on natural gas or lose billions, says expert," The Guardian, February 8, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dan Murtaugh, "Energy Titans Get Schooled in Sharing as Billions Seen Blown," Bloomberg, May 9, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Sonali Paul, Henning Gloystein, "Chevron starts LNG output at Australia's Wheatstone, first cargo expected in weeks," Reuters, October 8, 2017.
  6. Chevron starts second production unit at Wheatstone LNG in Australia, Reuters, Jun. 15, 2018
  7. "GIIGNL 2021 Annual Report”, page 38, GIIGNL, accessed May 4, 2021.
  8. Qatar Moves to Ensure LNG Dominance, Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, April 17, 2017.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lenore Taylor,"Direct Action 'safeguards' will allow industry to increase emissions – analysts," The Guardian, September 2, 2015.

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External resources

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