Chevron spruiks social investment

A year out from turning on the $US54 billion ($59.4 billion) Gorgon gas project on Barrow Island, operator Chevron has talked up the money and effort it was pumping into WA to hold onto its "social licence to operate".

It included more than $1 billion spent on research and development in the State since 2009 - the year Gorgon was approved for development - though Chevron Australia managing director Roy Krzywosinski said its effort to position Perth as a global technology hub "isn't as widely known as we'd like".

Addressing an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia function on Friday, Mr Krzywosinski said the investment in R&D kicked off in 2007 with the establishment of the company's global technology centre in Perth, one of only two Chevron has around the world - the other is in Aberdeen - and which employs 130 people who work with universities and research institutions on energy challenges.

"If we are going to be around for a long time, we want to work smart, and that means continuing our focus on innovation and technology," he said.

"We mean it when we say we're here for the long haul.

"Gorgon and Wheatstone are long-term energy projects that will see us employ thousands for decades to come and provide energy to WA well into the future.

"(But) we must maintain our social licence to operate. We know it only takes one small hiccup, from us or the industry, to undo all the good work that has been done."

Chevron is about to launch the latest round of its brand marketing campaign, underscoring that despite being one of the world's biggest companies it continues to feel a lack of recognition in Australia, where it intends to spend almost $US100 billion on LNG projects as well as oil and gas exploration.

The West Australian

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