Angola LNG down, Gorgon to restart

LUANDA, July 20, 2016 – The Angola LNG export plant has reportedly been shut down until late-August for final tests, traders said on Wednesday. The facility had recently been restarted after a two-year closure to correct design flaws.

The trade sources cited by Reuters also said the Chevron-operated plant should reach full capacity by September. Since the much-anticipated reopening of the refurbished plant in June, four cargoes were exported, less than half the expected volume.

Chevron leads the Angola LNG venture on a 36.4% stake, with Sonangol holding 22%. The others partners include BP, Eni and Total.

Chevron also heads the Gorgon LNG Project in Western Australia. Chevron and its partners Shell and ExxonMobil shipped their first LNG cargo in March, but mechanical problems halted output two weeks later. In early July, a gas leak forced another shutdown. According to a Chevron statement released on Wednesday, “start-up activities are underway on Gorgon Train 1, with production to recommence shortly.”

Construction on trains 2 and 3 is ongoing, with start-up expected by year-end 2016 and the first half of 2017, respectively. The largest such venture in Australian history, the LNG development has been marred by cost overruns. Originally pegged at some USD 37 billion in 2009, the project is now valued USD 54 billion.

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