Chevron considering importing Australian LNG to West Coast

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Mar. 19
�Chevron Corp., San Francisco, Monday said it is reviewing options for importing liquefied natural gas to the US West Coast. If deemed economically viable, LNG could begin arriving as early as 2005.

Earlier this month, Phillips Petroleum Co. and El Paso Corp. announced plans to supply southern California and Mexico's Baja California with Timor Sea LNG. The two companies' subsidiaries signed a letter of intent for El Paso's long-term purchase of LNG from a plant to be built by Phillips near Darwin, Australia (OGJ Online, Mar. 8, 2001).

Chevron also could supply LNG from its extensive gas holdings in Australia.

Peter Robertson, Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. president, said, "We think this project has tremendous possibilities both in terms of helping to ease the region's energy shortages and using a clean fuel to do it."

The natural gas would be liquefied through a process of refrigeration and then transported in LNG carrier ships. Upon arrival at destination, the process is reversed with the LNG regasified and delivered to customers via pipeline.

It is expected some of the gas would be used as fuel for new and existing electric power generation plants.

"LNG is a proven, safe, and reliable method of transporting natural gas and it has been used around the world for more than 30 years," said Robertson.

As part of the project review, the Chevron team will evaluate several alternative locations, including possibly offshore, for the receiving terminal facilities.

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