Chevron keeps eye on Gorgon costs

Chevron, the operator of the $52 billion Gorgon natural gas venture in Western Australia, says some ‘‘uncertainties’’ remain in the construction of the project after its budget jumped 21 per cent last year.

Chevron, the operator of the $52 billion Gorgon natural gas venture in Western Australia, says some ‘‘uncertainties’’ remain in the construction of the project after its budget jumped 21 per cent last year.

Some areas of construction ‘‘still need to improve’’ after Gorgon costs surged on gains in the Australian dollar, higher labour expenses and weather delays, Chevron chief financial officer Pat Yarrington told analysts in the US late on Friday.

Labour productivity at Gorgon, located on Barrow Island off north-west Australia, had increased, she said.

Chevron, the second-largest US oil producer by market value, was completing its budget for the year and would inform investors of any potential cost changes, she said.

Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil are partners in Gorgon, which Ms Yarrington said was more than 70 per cent complete.

‘‘Productivity, I would say, is improving on all fronts but there are still some areas that still need to improve,’’ she said.

‘‘We are moving into a critical phase from a schedule standpoint on the project.’’

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