Maintenance to shut Australian trains

Thursday, 04 February 2021
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Woodside has warned that its LNG production is expected to fall this year.

This is due to the shutting of the North West Shelf LNG trains for maintenance throughout the year, the company said in its fourth quarter report last month.

Woodside gave a total 2021 production guidance of 90-95 mill barrels of oil equivalent, with LNG expected to make up 70-72 mill boe of the total, compared to last year’s total production of 100.3 mill boe and LNG production of 75 mill boe, respectively.

The company also said its 16.9 mill tonnes per year nameplate North West Shelf (NWS) project will have planned turnarounds for about one month each on Trains 2 and 4. Train 4 is scheduled for the April/June quarter and Train 2 for the July/September period.

Woodside said NWS ran at 46,065 tonnes per day through the December quarter, which comes to 16.81 mill tonnes per year, a 6% year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter rise.

Production at the 4.9 mill tonnes per year nameplate Pluto LNG was hit by a planned shutdown for the installation of a water handling module, which saw a daily rate of 13,110 tonnes, down 5% year-on-year and 10% quarter-on-quarter.

The 8.9 mill tonnes per year Wheatstone LNG facility also benefited from high reliability, as well as better utilisation of offshore capacity to post rates of 27,002 tonnes per day, up 4% year-on-year and 1% higher from July/ September, Woodside said.

Some 30% of its LNG was sold on a spot basis last year. "We agreed our highest ever spot LNG price for delivery in the coming quarter, surpassing our previous record set in 2012," CEO, Peter Coleman, said.

Wheatstone below capacity

Also in Australia, Chevron is currently operating its Wheatstone LNG plant at below capacity as repairs are made to an inlet separator, a senior company executive said.

“At Wheatstone, production is modestly below capacity while we repair an inlet separator,” CFO Pierre Breber said during an earnings conference call last week. “We do not expect production impacts in the second quarter.”

For the rest of this year, the plant is expected to be back up to full capacity until planned maintenance is due to start late in the third quarter and continue through the fourth quarter, CEO Mike Wirth said during the call.

Meanwhile, repairs on Train 1 at Gorgon is nearing completion, with the production unit expected to be back online in March, Breber said.

“After Train 1 is back online, Train 3 will be taken out of service for the propane vessel inspections, any repairs and the planned turnaround,” he added.

Maintenance at Train 3 is expected in the second quarter, Wirth said. 

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