Shell to drill in Australia, Chevron taps brakes


PERTH, March 21, 2017 – Shell, through its QGC joint venture with China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Tokyo Gas, will drill new wells in Queensland’s Surat Basin.

Announced on Tuesday, Project Ruby calls for 161 new wells to be drilled over a two-year period.

“We are proud to be investing in regional Queensland, where state and local government have had the vision to establish the rules for a gas industry that creates jobs and supports farmers by providing water, building new roads and paying taxes,” Andrew Smith, Shell Australia’s chairman, said in comments.


The QGC joint venture operates the Curtis LNG facility, which has a capacity of 8.5 million tonnes per year.

Chevron, by contrast, on Tuesday said it would tap the brakes on its LNG operations. Operating the Wheatstone and Gorgon projects in Western Australia, the company said the current economic climate does not favour mega projects.

“As it stands there is unlikely to be another large greenfield LNG development [in Western Australia],” the managing director of Chevron’s local unit, Nigel Hearne, said during a speech.

“I can’t see in the near-term us investing in a fourth train at Gorgon or a third train at Wheatstone,” Hearne added while speaking in Perth.