Chevron has shut in the Wheatstone domestic gas plant near Onslow in northwest Western Australia following an unspecified equipment breakdown late last week.
The company said it needs 2 more days to resolve technical issues and restart the plant. Output of LNG is unaffected, the company said.
Wheatstone normally supplies about 17% of Western Australia’s domestic gas production, averaging 175 terajoules/day.
The breakdown coincides with two other gas supply reductions—at Santos’ John Brooks gas plant on Varanus Island and the Devil Creek plant on the mainland, where production has been reduced to 40 terajoules/day each. Varanus has capacity of 250 terajoules/day while Devils Creek has capacity of 180 terajoules/day.
Altogether, the issues have meant about a fifth of the State’s domestic gas production is temporarily offline.
Aluminum producer Alcoa has temporality switched to diesel generators for some operational needs at Kwinana and Pinjarra alumina refineries to replace its usual gas-fired power.
State Government Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said other energy market players had stepped in to make voluntary contributions to stabilize the system and that supply to households was not at risk.
Chevron said there was no impact on safety at Wheatstone, adding that its larger 300 terajoules/day domestic gas plant on Barrow Island fed by Gorgon-Jansz-Io fields is running at full capacity.