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Australia secures largest trade deal

Australia secures largest trade deal

Sydney: Australia has cemented its biggest trade deal with an A$90 billion agreement to export liquefied natural gas to Japan.
US oil giant Chevron announced on the weekend it would deliver 4.1 million tonnes of LNG from its Wheatstone project off the coast of Western Australia to Japan's largest utility, Tokyo Electric Power Co, each year for up to 20 years. ?That tops the nation's previous biggest export agreement, ExxonMobil's A$50 billion contract to supply LNG to China from the massive Gorgon field, also in WA, unveiled in August. ?Chevron, which estimates that Wheatstone will cost about $5 billion to build, hopes to produce gas from the field as early as 2013. ?The managing director of Chevron Australia, Roy Krzywosinski, said the deal was a major boost for the Wheatstone project, set to go to the Chevron board for final development approval in 2011, with production to begin in 2016. "This landmark agreement provides a critical LNG market to underpin the Wheatstone project," he said. "TepCo is among the most experienced LNG buyers in the world, and its willingness to commit to such significant offtake volumes demonstrates its confidence the Wheatstone project is moving forward."
The contract is the largest Australian LNG supply agreement ever signed, and puts Australia on track to becoming the second-largest LNG producer in the world by 2020, behind Qatar. [07/12/09]?

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