By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS — Australia gave final approval Wednesday for a natural gas field development that will export $41 billion in energy to China over 20 years.
Environment Minister Peter Garrett said Chevron, a partner in the joint venture, had agreed to meet the 28 environmental conditions he had set for the development of the Gorgon gas field off the northwestern coast of Australia.
The conditions for the development on Barrow Island include that the developers safeguard the rare flatback turtle, which shares the habitat.
“My expectation is that the company will be more than willing to meet these conditions,” Mr. Garrett said. “It is the case that there is agreement on the basis of the conditions that I put forward and I welcome that.”
A Chevron official was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
PetroChina, the largest Asian oil and gas company, agreed last week to buy 2.25 million tons per year of liquefied natural gas from the yet-to-be-developed gas field, in the biggest-ever Australian export deal.
The contract gives a huge boost to the Gorgon project, which is being developed by Australian units of Chevron, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell.
The environmental approval was the final hurdle for the gas field development.
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