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Australia agrees $60bn gas deal

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US oil firm Chevron has signed $60bn (£36bn) worth of deals to supply natural gas to Japan and South Korea from its Gorgon project in Australia.

Chevron Australia said it would supply Osaka Gas with 1.375 million tonnes of natural gas a year over 25 years.

Tokyo Gas would receive 1.1 million tonnes and South Korea’s GS Caltex would get 0.5 million tonnes.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described the deals as a “shot in the arm” for the Australian economy.

Last month, PetroChina signed a deal to buy $50bn worth of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Gorgon – the largest trade deal in Australia’s history.

Separately, India’s Petronet signed a $25m deal.

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Mr Rudd said the latest deals “will deliver in the order of A$70bn worth of exports to Australia over the next 25 years”.

He told parliament it had been a “great month” for Australia’s LNG export industry.

“These are massive projects that will generate economic growth, income, jobs and prosperity for the nation for decades to come.”

The yet-to-be-developed Gorgon gas field on Barrow Island off western Australia is expected to generate 6,000 jobs and make Australia a leading LNG supplier in the region.

But the A$50bn ($42bn; £25.6bn) project has met opposition from environmentalists as Barrow Island is home to a number of endangered, rare and endemic species.

Chevron and its partners in the project, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, are expected to give the go ahead for production in the coming weeks.

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