“These production licences, which cover the enormous Io-Jansz and Gorgon fields, will give the joint venture surety as it works towards finalising the finance for this remarkable project,” he said.

“With the recent final environmental approval and these production licences, Gorgon is very close to becoming reality.

“It is a very exciting time for Western Australia and a significant project that the Department of Mines and Petroleum has actively worked to help establish.”

The Io-Jansz and Gorgon fields contain more than 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, giving the project an estimated 30-year lifespan.

The Minister said the project would boost the State’s development and growth and help maintain WA’s powerhouse role in the nation’s economy.

“Gorgon’s development and long-term operations will employ thousands and substantially increase WA’s domestic gas supply,” he said.

Mr Moore also offered to renew seven of the Joint Venture’s retention licences which cover other gas fields. The plan is to develop these resources in the future to maintain production.

Chevron Corporation, with a 50% interest, is the operator of the development on behalf of the Gorgon Venture partners. Other partners are Exxon Mobil Corporation and Royal Dutch Shell plc each holding 25% interest.