Chevron assesses inspection needs at Gorgon LNG train 3

23 September 2020

Chevron is assessing how best to inspect and potentially repair the third train at its 15.6mn t/yr Gorgon LNG facility in Australia following the discovery of weld defects on the propane heat exchangers of the plant's second train, the firm's executive vice president for upstream Jay Johnson said. 

Johnson did not provide any timeline for inspection during Chevron's second-quarter 2020 earnings call on 31 July, although maintenance on the third train is scheduled for next year. Chevron is also assessing whether to re-evaluate an inspection on Gorgon's first train, which was done during its planned maintenance last year, he said.

"We did not see the issue in Train 1, but we are assessing whether or not we need to re-evaluate that inspection and go through it again," Johnson said. "And we are addressing how best to inspect, and, if necessary, repair Train 3 at this time." Heat exchangers in a liquefaction train are involved in the pre-cooling and partial liquefaction of feed gas.

Spot LNG prices have edged up over the past three weeks because of disruptions to production at Gorgon, concerns over further production disruptions if the plant's first and third trains need to be taken offline for inspections to check for similar weld issues on their heat exchangers, and expectations of short-covering to replace lost cargoes.