Chevron Corp. and its joint venture partners plan to expand the Gorgon liquefied natural gas export (LNG) project off the northwest coast of Western Australia.

Stage two of the Chevron-led project is part of the original development plan for Gorgon, said Chevron Australia Managing Director Nigel Hearne. Plans include expanding the subsea gas gathering network required to maintain long-term gas supply to the 15.6 million metric ton/year (mmty) plant and gas plant on Barrow Island.

“Our world-class natural gas facilities have transformed Chevron into a leading and reliable supplier of cleaner-burning natural gas to customers in the region,” Hearne said. “Through ongoing collaboration, we need to invest in both the infrastructure and the local skills and capability required to maintain our long-term energy position and contribute to the jobs of the future.”

Considered one of the world’s largest gas developments, Gorgon officially kicked off in 2009 and ramped up two years ago. Chevron considers Gorgon and the twin LNG development in Australia, Wheatstone, to be the backbone of its global gas developments.

Last year, Chevron launched its third train at Gorgon and its first from Wheatstone, with exports geared toward growing demand in the Asia-Pacific region.

The planned future development phase would involve new wells in the Gorgon and Jansz-Io fields, and accompanying offshore production pipelines and subsea structures. The development fits within Chevron’s previously announced annual investment range of $18-20 billion through 2020.

“Benefits are expected to flow through to Australian industry, arising from local project management, drilling and completion activities and subsea infrastructure installation,” Hearne added.

Gorgon is a joint venture between the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (47.3%), ExxonMobil Corp. (25%) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (25%), as well as three Japanese-based operators, Osaka Gas (1.25%), Tokyo Gas (1%) and Jera Co. Inc. (0.417%). Jera is considered the world’s largest LNG buyer.

Chevron Australia also manages a one-sixth interest in the North West Shelf venture and the largest onshore oilfield on Barrow Island.