SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Chevron Corp. said Tuesday it signed a 20-year deal to deliver liquefied natural gas from its Wheatstone project in Australia to a Japanese utility company.
Tohuko Electric Power Co., the fourth largest utility company in Japan by revenue, secured a deal to purchase nearly 1 billion tons of LNG from the Wheatstone project in Western Australia.
"We welcome the agreements with Tohoku, which mean that 85 percent of Chevron's equity LNG from Wheatstone is now committed to customers in Asia on a long-term basis," Roy Krzywosinski, managing director of Chevron's Australian division, said in a statement.
Economic growth in Asia suggests a regional increase in demand for natural gas. Japan relies on LNG for all of its natural gas demand. That demand has increased in response to the Fukushima meltdown in 2011.
Chevron, which has headquarters in California, said first deliveries of LNG from Wheatstone are expected in 2016.
Chevron said the Western Australia gas project has the capacity to produce nearly 9 million tons of LNG per year.