SAN RAMON -- Chevron has released details about its crucial liquefied natural gas project on an island off the coast of Western Australia, saying project costs have increased about 41 percent.

The total cost estimate for the Gorgon LNG project is now $52 billion, up from $37 billion in previous estimates.

"Gorgon project economics are attractive," Chevron Vice Chairman George Kirkland said.

San Ramon-based Chevron said the project should begin operations by late 2014. The first LNG cargo should ship during the first three months of 2015.

"While investment requirements have grown, oil prices, which directly impact the overall revenue stream, have increased by approximately 80 percent over the same time period," Kirkland said.

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