(EnergyAsia, April 19 2012, Thursday) — US major Chevron Corp said a consortium led by its Australian subsidiaries has secured an agreement for the annual supply of one million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan’s Chubu Electric Power Company Incorporated for up to 20 years.

The Chevron-operated consortium will supply the LNG from its onshore Wheatstone gas project in Western Australia under several non-binding heads of agreement (HOA). Wheatstone’s founding partners include the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (72.14%), Apache (13%), Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC 7%), Shell (6.4%) and Kyushu Electric (1.46%).

Due to start up in 2016, the US$29 billion Wheatstone project is set to become one of Australia’s largest resource projects. Located at Ashburton North, 12 km west of Onslow in Western Australia, the foundation phase of the project will consist of two LNG gas trains with a combined capacity of 8.9 million tons/year and a domestic gas plant.

With the Chubu deal, Roy Krzywosinski, Chevron Australia’s managing director, said that more than 70% of its equity LNG from Wheatstone has now been committed through long-term off-take agreements with customers in Asia.

“Our Wheatstone and Gorgon projects are strategically positioned to commercialise our significant natural gas position in Australia through satisfying Asia’s rapidly growing demand for reliable, cleaner-burning and safe energy,“ he said.

Joe Geagea, President of Chevron Gas and Midstream, described Chubu as a long term customer of the company’s Australian natural gas production.

Chevron is also leading a consortium involving ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell to develop the A$43 billion Gorgon LNG project in Western Australia state.