Chevron’s Wheatstone domestic gas supply could be offline until June 27

Headshot of Adrian Rauso
Adrian RausoThe West Australian
Chevron Wheatstone platform.
Camera IconChevron Wheatstone platform. Credit: Supplied

Chevron will keep domestic gas production at the huge Wheatstone project near Onslow turned off for far longer than industry sources had initially expected.

On Monday night the US oil and gas giant shut down the Wheatstone facility down to fix a busted fuel gas system at the offshore platform. A Chevron spokeswoman on Thursday told The West Australian that works were ongoing.

“Chevron Australia has commenced repair activities on the Wheatstone platform which are expected to be completed in coming weeks. LNG and domestic gas production will resume following the safe completion of the repair works,” she said.

The offshore platform provides gas to Wheatstone’s onshore facilities, which meant domestic gas production had to be suspended.

Industry sources told The West on Monday domestic gas supply was set to resume on Friday.

But now The West understands that supply is currently scheduled to return by June 27.

It’s the fourth time there’s been a production outage at the broader Wheatstone facility in about nine months.

On September 14 a fault at Wheatstone — located 12 kilometres west of Onslow on the Pilbara coast — impacted about a quarter of its LNG production.

But domestic gas supplies were unaffected by that outage, the spokesman said at the time.

It is believed the September 14 fault was caused by a propane compressor trip on a processing train.

Less than two weeks prior to that issue Wheatstone suffered a pump fault, briefly taking out nearly 20 per cent of the State’s local gas supply.

The Pilbara plant was estimated to cost about $US34 billion ($50 billion) to build, and can ship nearly nine million tonnes of super-chilled fuel to overseas markets every year.

The project was sanctioned in late 2011, with first shipment of LNG announced in October 2017.

The official nameplate capacity of Wheatstone’s domestic gas plant is 215 terajoules per day.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails