Chevron Corporation (CVX) has entered into yet another deal regarding the Wheatstone Project in western Australia. This time, the domestic arm of Chevron inked binding agreements with Japanese utility firm Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO.
Per the terms, Chevron will sell additional 0.4 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually from the aforesaid project for nearly the next 20 years to TEPCO. The deal also involves the sale of a 10% participating interest in the Wheatstone field licenses and 8% stake in the Wheatstone natural gas processing facilities by Chevron to TEPCO.
However, none of the companies have divulged the financial aspects of the transaction.
Combining the recent deal with the previously announced agreements, TEPCO's total LNG offtake from the Wheatstone project reached 4.2 millions tons per annum (MTPA).
Located about 7.5 miles west of Onslow, off Western Australia’s Pilbara coast, Wheatstone is one of the country’s most ambitious resource projects. The venture is proposed to be built with an annual output capacity of 25 million metric tons of LNG.
The initial phase of the project will see the construction of two processing units, known as trains, with a combined capacity of 8.9 million tons of LNG a year and a domestic gas plant. The Wheatstone project is expected to come online by 2016.
Chevron acts as the operator of the project and is partnered by Apache Corporation (APA), Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co., Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A) and Kyushu Electric.
Over the last one year, Chevron and partners have entered into multiple deals with Japanese and South Korean companies to sell a major portion of LNG from the project. Currently, more than 80% of Wheatstone’s LNG is under long-term contracts with customers.
We believe that the Wheatstone project, coupled with the other billion-dollar Gorgon venture, will contribute immensely in providing considerable economic benefits such as employment, government revenue and local business opportunities across Australia. Both the ventures, upon completion, will hold a leadership position among natural gas and LNG suppliers in the Asia-Pacific belt.
We maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation on Chevron shares. The company currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating).
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