Chevron’s Most-Costly Mega Project Hits New Snag in Australia

Chevron Corp.’s Gorgon liquefied natural gas plant shut a production train for about a month, at least the eighth outage since operations started 14 months ago at the most-expensive project in the company’s history.

Train 1 at the $54 billion project on Barrow Island off northwest Australia shut last week to replace a failed flow-measurement device, Cameron Van Ast, a Perth-based spokesman, said by email. Other routine maintenance will be performed during the shutdown and the plant’s other two production trains are operating normally, he said.

The outage is the latest setback for the largest resource development in Australia’s history, which faced delays, cost overruns and labor unrest during construction. Gorgon LNG, which started in March 2016, suffered its first shutdown just two weeks after shipping its maiden cargo. The terminal is also partly owned by Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

LNG import prices in Japan, the world’s biggest buyer, averaged about $9 per million British thermal units in 2009 when the project was sanctioned, then shot up as high as $18 during construction before sliding back below $6 after it started production amid a global glut, according to data from LNG Japan Corp.

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