Chevron suspends Gorgon LNG production after gas leak

The logo of Dow Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company Chevron (CVX) is seen in Los Angeles, California, United States, April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Chevron on Friday suspended production at Australia’s Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility after a leak but remained on track to make a second shipment in coming days, it said.

“Chevron Australia plans to undertake some minor repair work on the low pressure flare system at the acid gas removal unit before recommencing production in the coming week,” it said in a statement. “Plans remain on track to load the second cargo of Gorgon LNG in the coming days.”

News of the leak was cited as a reason for a boost in Asian LNG prices to the highest level since February.

Workers in the area were evacuated and there were no injuries after responding to what Chevron referred to as a “minor gas leak.”

The recently commissioned $54 billion Gorgon project was

briefly shut down in April following technical problems, shortly after starting up first production.

Gorgon is a joint venture of the Australian subsidiaries of operator Chevron with a 47.3 percent stake, ExxonMobil and Shell with 25 percent each, Osaka Gas at 1.25 percent, Tokyo Gas at 1 percent and Chubu Electric Power at less than 0.5 percent.

Gorgon will have the capacity to produce 15.6 million tonnes of LNG per year once all three production trains are operating.

Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Christian Schmollinger