Golden Gecko awarded to innovative microtunnel project

Chevron Australia has been awarded the 2015 Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence for an innovative shoreline crossing solution.

The Wheatstone microtunnel links a 225 km long offshore gas pipeline to the onshore processing facilities, protecting the coastal area adjacent to the Ashburton River Delta. Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion presented the Golden Gecko Award to Chevron Australia at an awards ceremony on Thursday 29 October. Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) Executive Director Environment Dr Phil Gorey said the project project stood out to the selection committee and was a very deserving recipient of the 2015 Golden Gecko Award. “The Wheatsone natural gas development is adjacent to the Ashburton River Delta, which supports important mangrove and estuarine habitats,” Dr Gorey said. “Chevron investigated five options for a shore crossing and chose the one with the lowest environmental impact, even though it was the most expensive choice. “Their commitment to environmental excellence was evident from the level of assessment and engagement undertaken during the project’s development. “Monitoring undertaken on the Ashburton River Delta demonstrated excellent environmental outcomes with no ground disturbance and an increase in the number of mature mangrove trees adjacent to the tunnel corridor. “Other excellent environmental initiatives included using biodegradable hydraulic oils, not using chemicals for the last 50 m of tunnelling, reusing all tunnel spoil, recycling almost all recyclable waste, and formally recognising individuals who improved environmental awareness of the project through an award program initiative. “This is the first time Chevron has successfully used microtunnel technology in the oil and gas industry and it is the longest pipe-jacked tunnel in the southern hemisphere.”

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