11 Sep 2009

$US60 billion gas deal signed

1:55 pm on 11 September 2009

Chevron has signed deals worth $US60 billion to supply natural gas to Japan and South Korea from its Gorgon project in Australia.

Chevron Australia said it would supply Osaka Gas with 1.375 million tonnes of natural gas per year over 25 years.

Tokyo Gas would receive 1.1 million tonnes and GS Caltex in South Korea would get 0.5 million tonnes.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described the deals as a "shot in the arm" for the Australian economy.

Last month, PetroChina signed a deal to buy $US50 billion worth of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Gorgon - the largest trade deal in Australia's history. Separately, Petronet of India signed a $US25 million deal.

Mr Rudd said the latest deals "will deliver in the order of A$70 billion worth of exports to Australia over the next 25 years".

He told parliament it had been a "great month" for Australia's LNG export industry and the projects would "generate economic growth, income, jobs and prosperity for the nation for decades to come.''

The $A50 billion Gorgon gas field on Barrow Island off western Australia is still to be developed. The BBC reports it is expected to generate 6,000 jobs and make Australia a leading LNG supplier in the region.

Chevron and its partners in the project, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, are expected to give the go ahead for production in the coming weeks.