Chevron Australia and its partners have drawn the first gas from stage two of the $54bn Gorgon natural gas project off the northwest coast of Western Australia.

Operated by the Chevron subsidiary with a stake of 47.3%, the Gorgon project involves the participation of the Australian subsidiaries of ExxonMobil (25%), Shell (25%), Osaka Gas (1.25%), Tokyo Gas (1%) and JERA (0.42%).

The stage two development expands the project’s existing subsea gas gathering network, which exports liquefied natural gas (LNG) to customers in the Asia Pacific region. For the Western Australian market, the project supplies domestic gas.

A total of 11 additional wells were installed as part of the Gorgon natural gas project stage two in the Gorgon and Jansz-Io fields. Associated offshore production pipelines and subsea structures were also installed to sustain the supply of feed gas for the gas processing plants on Barrow Island.

Chevron Australia managing director Mark Hatfield said: “Gorgon Stage Two first gas marks the next phase of the Gorgon Project and demonstrates our commitment to providing reliable and affordable energy that supports the region’s energy security.

“Importantly, the team completed the complex offshore installation work, totalling more than 3.2 million hours to date, without any serious injuries or incidents.

“The development supports the longevity of the Gorgon Project and the continuation of its already significant ongoing benefits including highly skilled local employment, economic activity as well as state and federal government revenue for decades to come.”

Discovered in 1980, the Gorgon field was developed with eight production wells as part of stage one of the integrated LNG project. The Jansz-Io gas field, which was discovered about 20 years later, was initially developed with 10 production wells.

Both the gas fields are located within the Greater Gorgon area in the Barrow sub-basin of the Carnarvon Basin.

The three-train Gorgon LNG project began production of LNG in 2016. It has a production capacity of 15.6 million metric tons of LNG per annum.