ExxonMobil is a 25 percent foundation participant in the iconic Gorgon Project. The project is developing the Gorgon and Jansz-Io fields, located between 130 and 200 kilometres off the northwestern coast of Western Australia.
The development consists of subsea infrastructure for the production and transportation of gas from the two gas fields to a three train, 15 million tonne per annum LNG and domestic gas processing facility located on Barrow Island. The development concept for the Jansz-Io field includes a sub-sea tieback, one of the longest in the world, which will access gas that lies in approximately 1350 metres of water.
LNG will be produced at the gas processing facility and shipped to customers around the globe. An affiliate of ExxonMobil executed long-term sales and purchase agreements with PetroChina International Company Limited and Petronet LNG Limited of India to complete the sale of its equity share of LNG in the Gorgon Project.
Gorgon is the largest single resource project in Australia. It will deliver a reliable supply of natural gas internationally and to domestic gas customers in Western Australia and has already generated significant economic benefits including committing more than $20 billion on local goods and services.
Gorgon Project joint venture participants are ExxonMobil (25%), Shell (25%) and Chevron (47.3% and Operator) as well as gas buyers Osaka Gas (1.25%), Tokyo Gas (1.0%) and Chubu Electric Power (0.417%).
Gorgon and the environment
The Gorgon Project is located on Barrow Island, a Class A Nature Reserve. The island supports 24 terrestrial species and subspecies not known to occur elsewhere and another five terrestrial species with restricted distribution. Barrow is also the location of Australia’s largest operating onshore oilfield and is acknowledged world-wide as an example of how industry and nature can co-exist successfully together.
Environmental management of the island includes stringent measures to prevent or mitigate against the potential for environmental harm. Independently reviewed environmental management plans have been approved by Australian state and federal governments. These plans are implemented with the assistance and oversight of the Department of Parks and Wildlife, a Western Australian state government organisation with a permanent presence on the island.
As one of a number of conservation programs the Gorgon Project has committed to, ExxonMobil has helped fund an initiative to relocate mammals and birds such as bandicoots and spinifex birds from Barrow Island as part of a state government program to restore animal populations on the mainland and other islands.
Crucial to the protection of Barrow Island is the Project’s Quarantine Management System (QMS). Considered ‘likely to be world’s best practice’ by the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority, the QMS provides an unprecedented level of quarantine management across all operations. Developed in consultation with some of the world’s best quarantine and biosecurity experts, the QMS sets new benchmarks in environmental protection and is a significant investment in safeguarding the island’s conservation values.
Gorgon and greenhouse gas management
The Gorgon Project will position Australia as a world leader in the application of greenhouse gas injection technology. Naturally occurring reservoir carbon dioxide will be extracted prior to gas processing and liquefaction and injected into a deep reservoir unit more than two kilometres beneath Barrow Island. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the project by around 40 percent.