First Oil

Technology is the grease that helps accelerate the forward progress of our oil and gas industry. If, however, a specific technology fails, related operations often come to a grinding halt. Several recent technological achievements and one failure, both monumental and minute, help illustrate this phenomenon. Taking tight turns in Avenza. For the Chevron-operated Gorgon LNG project on Barrow Island, GE Oil & Gas is building nine gas turbines to supply 650 MW of electricity for LNG liquefaction. Since Barrow Island is a Class A nature reserve, the turbines are built at GE’s manufacturing plant in Massa, Italy, and assembled as modules at a construction yard in Avenza to minimize the field work on the island that has a fragile ecosystem. Each module is 48 x 22 x 28 m and weighs 2,300 tons, equivalent to four A380 airplanes. In October 2012, the first of these turbine modules was loaded onto a customized freighter for the long journey to Australia.

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