Dismissed as a useless byproduct of crude oil production until the second half of the 20th century, natural gas now accounts for 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.
The International Energy Agency predicts that the demand for natural gas will grow by approximately 43 percent through 2035. 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 2012 was about 5.07 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, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Chevron continues to add more shale gas acreage to its portfolio. "Shale gas" refers to natural gas found in fine-grained sedimentary rock. Locked in very small spaces within the reservoir rock, the gas is extracted using advanced technologies that allow it to flow to production wells.
Gorgon Project – Chevron is leading the development of Australia's largest single-resource project. The Gorgon Project includes a three-train 15 million-metric-ton-per-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on Barrow Island, a domestic natural gas plant and a carbon dioxide injection project. Work on the project is progressing on schedule, with approximately 61 percent of construction completed on Barrow Island and in fabrication yards in various countries as of early 2013.
Wheatstone Project – The Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project includes a two-train 8.9 million-metric-ton-per-year LNG facility 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, or trains, 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 will operate the country's first LNG plant. The first shipment from the 5.2 million-metric-ton LNG plant in Soyo is expected in 2013.
Escravos, Nigeria – Chevron is partnering with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to build a GTL plant expected 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 2013.
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 $500 million 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.
Vietnam – The Vietnam Block B Gas Development will supply gas to utilities in southern Vietnam. In 2012, the project made progress with front-end engineering and design.
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. An exploration well is planned for the third quarter of 2013.
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 2012, Chevron's net average daily production was 216 million cubic feet of natural gas.
El Trapial, Argentina – In 2012, Chevron drilled two exploratory wells targeting shale gas and tight oil resources in the Vaca Muerta formation in the El Trapial concession. Another exploratory well was started in early 2013, and we have plans to drill three additional appraisal wells in 2013.
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 to Venezuela's first LNG project, in which the company has been invited to participate with a 10 percent interest.
North America and Europe
The company's shale gas portfolio includes acreage in Pennsylvania, western Canada and Eastern Europe. In 2012, Chevron added acreage in New Mexico and Lithuania, 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: April 2013