Chevron says Australian well hit natural gas

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Chevron Corp. said Thursday that it found natural gas during exploratory drilling off the coast of western Australia.

The company said the test well was drilled in 3,570 feet of water about 75 miles northwest of Barrow Island.

Chevron said the discovery showed the company's success at finding gas in a rich hydrocarbon basin called the Greater Gorgon. Chevron hopes to use production there to supply liquefied natural gas to the Asia-Pacific region.

San Ramon-based Chevron's Australian subsidiary is operating the project and owns 50 percent, with units of Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil Corp. each holding 25 percent.

Chevron shares rose 29 cents to $110 in morning trading.