Dismissed as a useless byproduct of crude oil production until the second half of the 20th century, natural gas now accounts for about 22 percent of the world's energy consumption. And the demand is growing.
An environmentally friendly and efficient energy source, natural gas is the cleanest-burning conventional fuel, producing lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions than heavier hydrocarbon fuels such as coal and oil. Historically, natural gas also has been one of the most economical energy sources. Natural gas fuels electric power generators, heats buildings and is used as a raw material in many consumer products, such as those made of traditional plastics.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the demand for natural gas will grow by approximately 56 percent through 2040. Chevron is well positioned to meet this escalating demand.
What Chevron Is Doing
Natural gas is a growing segment of Chevron's energy portfolio. Our natural gas resources span six continents, with significant holdings in Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, the Caspian region, Latin America and North America. Chevron's net production in 2013 was about 5.19 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, including equity shares in affiliates, and we expect to substantially increase this volume over the next decade.
Although world gas resources are plentiful, the regions with natural gas surpluses are often oceans away from the greatest demand. Chevron has the capabilities required to develop resources and deliver natural gas to markets where its use is growing.
Chevron is engaged in every aspect of the natural gas business—production, liquefaction, shipping, regasification, pipelines, marketing and trading, power generation, and gas-to-liquids (GTL).
We hold the largest natural gas resource position in Australia through the Gorgon and Wheatstone projects and the North West Shelf Venture. We also have significant natural gas holdings in western Africa, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, North America, the Philippines, South America, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
Chevron continues to add more shale and tight-resource acreage to its portfolio. Shale and tight resources are sources of natural gas, found in the fine-grained sedimentary rock. Locked in very small spaces within the reservoir rock, the gas is extracted using advanced technologies that enable it to flow to production wells.
Gorgon Project – Chevron is leading the development of Australia's largest single-resource project. Based on Barrow Island, the Gorgon Project includes a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility with three processing units capable of producing 15.6 million metric tons of LNG per year, a domestic natural gas plant and a carbon dioxide injection project. Work on the project continues. The plant is expected to start up in 2015.
Wheatstone Project – The Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project includes an LNG facility with two processing units capable of producing 8.9 million metric tons of LNG per year and a separate domestic gas plant, both at Ashburton North, on the West Pilbara coast of Australia. The facilities will be fed by natural gas from the Wheatstone and Iago fields, as well as third-party gas. Startup of the first train is expected in 2016.
North West Shelf Venture – We are a longtime participant in Australia's North West Shelf Venture, which operates offshore producing fields and extensive onshore facilities that include five LNG processing units and a domestic gas plant. Approximately 70 percent of the natural gas is sold in the form of LNG to major utilities in Asia, primarily under long-term contracts.
Angola LNG Project – Chevron has a 36.4 percent interest in Angola LNG Limited, which operates the country's first LNG plant. The 5.2 million-metric-ton plant in Soyo made its first shipment in 2013
Escravos, Nigeria – Chevron is partnering with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to build a GTL plant designed to convert 325 million cubic feet of natural gas per day into 33,000 barrels of liquids—principally synthetic diesel. When completed, the plant is expected to supply clean-burning, low-sulfur diesel fuel for cars and trucks. The plant is expected to begin production in 2014.
Niger Delta, Nigeria – Chevron is developing several gas projects in the Niger Delta to increase gas supplies for national and regional power generation and reduce routine natural gas flaring.
Bibiyana, Bangladesh – Chevron is moving ahead with plans for the Bibyana expansion project. The project is designed to add another 300 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and is expected to begin production in 2014.
Thailand – The Platong II project in the Gulf of Thailand provided a significant boost to Thailand's domestic gas production when it began producing in 2011.
Chuandongbei, China – The Chuandongbei project is under way in China's Sichuan Basin. Upon completion, the full development will include two new sour gas processing plants and five natural gas fields with gathering systems and tie-ins to the plants. In 2013, the company continued construction of the first natural gas processing plant and site preparation for the second natural gas processing plant.
Colombia - Chevron, in partnership with Colombia's national oil company, Ecopetrol, operates the offshore Chuchupa natural gas field as well as the onshore Ballena and Riohacha natural gas fields in the province of La Guajira as part of the Guajira Association Contract. In exchange, Chevron receives 43 percent of the production for the remaining life of each field and a variable production volume from a fixed-fee agreement based on prior Chuchupa capital contributions. In 2013, net daily production averaged 216 million cubic feet of natural gas. Also in 2013, additional compression facilities for existing fields were installed.
El Trapial, Argentina – In 2013, Chevron completed four exploratory wells targeting shale and tight resources in the Vaca Muerta formation in El Trapial concession. We plan to continue production-testing the wells during 2014.
Plataforma Deltana, Venezuela – Chevron operates Blocks 2 and 3 of the Plataforma Deltana area offshore Venezuela. The gas from the Loran Field in Block 2 is scheduled to supply natural gas for Venezuela's first LNG project. Chevron has been invited to participate in the project with a 10 percent interest. In 2013, work continued on maturing commercial development concepts with this field.
North America and Europe
The company's shale and tight-resource portfolio includes acreage in Pennsylvania, western Canada, and central and Eastern Europe. In 2013, Chevron added acreage in Canada, providing further opportunities to explore for shale and unconventional resources.
Chevron will continue to find, develop and deliver natural gas to meet the rising demand for energy.
Updated: May 2014