Australia has further consolidated its place among the world’s largest suppliers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) with the commencement of production from the second train at the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project near Onslow in Western Australia.

APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts congratulated operator Chevron and its joint venture partners on the expansion of Wheatstone, one of Australia’s eight operating LNG facilities.

“Today’s announcement marks a further strengthening of Australia’s reputation as a safe and reliable long-term supplier of cleaner-burning natural gas for our customers in the Asia-Pacific region,” Dr Roberts said.

Chevron’s development of the Wheatstone and Gorgon Projects has seen more than $60 billion committed to Australian goods and services, around 1000 contracts awarded to Australian companies and almost 19,000 workers employed.

The project has contributed more than $250 million to social and infrastructure projects in the Pilbara town of Onslow, which include upgrading community facilities, education and health services, roads, and power and water infrastructure.

The milestone highlights the value of the world class natural gas resource base off the coast of Western Australia at both a national and regional level.

Dr Roberts said the expansion of Wheatstone was the latest project in a wave of LNG investment that would deliver enduring benefits for all Australians.

Last week’s Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) data again highlighted that LNG exports are an ongoing source of strength for Australia’s economy.

The ABS attributed half of Australia’s economic growth of 1 per cent in the 2018 March quarter to higher exports, with LNG exports a key contributor.

Oil and gas production rose by 8.4 per cent over the 2018 March quarter, following the record $22.3 billion in LNG exports in 2016-17.

Dr Roberts said the start of production on Wheatstone’s 2nd train was another reminder of how significant LNG exports are to sustaining Australia’s economic growth.

“Australia’s LNG projects will deliver decades of economic growth, jobs and exports,” Dr Roberts said.

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