Chevron Executive Says Future Australian LNG Projects May be at Risk

Date : 08/23/2012 @ 2:12AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)
Quote : 81.4  -0.33 (-0.40%) @ 7:16PM

Chevron Executive Says Future Australian LNG Projects May be at Risk

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PERTH--Australia's liquefied natural gas industry is at a cross-roads because of cost increases and poor labour productivity in the country, Chevron Corp.'s (CVX) Australia Chief Executive Roy Krzywosinski said Thursday.

The country's LNG industry has around A$180 billion of committed projects and potentially a further A$100 billion of projects that could be "enabled" depending on markets and cost challenges, Mr. Krzywosinski told a business forum in Perth.

The industry and the Australian government need to start talking about solving issues such as labor costs and tax, he said.

If reforms aren't forthcoming, some LNG projects may start "falling off, and investment will dry up", Mr. Krzywosinski added.

Chevron, the second-biggest U.S. oil company by market value after Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), is building the huge Gorgon and Wheatstone gas export projects in Western Australia state.

Chevron is targeting an expansion of the 43 billion Australian dollar (US$45 billion) Gorgon project in 2014.

The Australian LNG industry has "probably the highest cost base now" anywhere in the world, Shell Australia Chairwoman Ann Pickard said last month.

-Write to Stephen Bell at djnews.sydney@dowjones.com

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