Chevron Corp has chosen a production site in Australia for its proposed Wheatstone LNG project, the company declared in recent weeks.

Having narrowed its search to three locations, the oil and gas major indicated it preferred to build the project at Ashburton North.

Potentially one of the largest projects of its kind in Australia, the site is 12km (7 miles) west of the town of Onslow and about 200km south of the offshore Wheatstone natural gas field.

Chevron Australia Chief Executive Roy Krzywosinski revealed in a statement that front-end engineering and design work would be carried out in 2009, while the company sought government approval to operate a 25 million tonnes per year (tpy) LNG and domestic gas plant complex.

The initial development consists of two LNG processing facilities with a nominal capacity of 5 million tpy each. A separate, but co-located domestic gas plant designed to initially process up to 250 million standard cubic feet per day is included as part of the development plan.

Approvals from the Western Australian state government were needed for the project to proceed, a spokeswoman said. Output from the project, announced in March as a 5 million tpy facility, has been since revised following discovery of more gas at its Iago gas field adjacent to the Wheatstone gas field.

If expanded to 25 million tonnes, the Wheatstone plant would be larger than the North West Shelf LNG project operated by Australia's Woodside Petroleum Ltd Woodside, and Chevron’s own proposed 15 million tpy Gorgon LNG project, currently Australia's biggest planned resources project.