Friday, September 18, 2009

Gorgon Moves Ahead As Australian Deals Are Signed

Logistics Firms Awarded Contracts in Huge Natural Gas Deal
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – Work is about to commence on the construction of the facilities required to service the new natural gas extraction, cooling and shipping terminals off the coast.

The gigantic project is led by the Chevron Corporation with further backing from Exxon Mobil and Shell. The project will generate around 10,000 jobs and reimburse the Australian Government by about A$34 billion. This figure however pales besides the overall contract terms. The fields, with some 100 miles off the coast, are estimated to hold 40 trillion cubic feet of gas. The sites will pipe the gas to Barrow Island off the Western Australian shoreline where it will be processed and loaded to Liquefied Natural Gas carriers.

Deals with clients based in China, Japan and Korea have already been signed worth an estimated A$150 billion. Suppliers appointed thus far include Toll Holdings (A$180 million) for logistics, waste and cleaning, TDK Joint Venture (A$520 million) for design, production and construction and delivery of a village for over 3000 staff, Thiess (A$500 million) for logistics infrastructure, Offshore Marine Services (A$240 million) for various vessels essential to everyday services and Agility (A$160 million) for management and transport services.

The giant project will be scrutinised carefully by green groups who have objected at every stage. Barrow Island is home to a flatback turtle community and, although the site has seen oil drilling for over 40 years, sources of light and noise pollution must be minimised to comply with agreed limits. The site is also to be used as a transfer point for carbon dioxide which will be pumped back into replace the extracted natural gas in what is the largest experiment of its kind ever.