The below is the latest in a string of stories by Fairfax alleging Chevron's tax avoidance. See yesterday's stories here.
By Heath Aston
Financial documents in Australia and the North Atlantic have revealed deep links between Chevron, the operator of Australia's biggest resources project, and the tax haven of Bermuda.
Direct connections between the multinational oil and gas company's Australian business and Bermuda emerged as Chevron and seven other companies face questions from the federal parliamentary inquiry into corporate tax avoidance.
The Senate economics references committee has asked them to reveal their links to secrecy jurisdictions and detail international transfers between subsidiaries over the past five years, as revealed by Fairfax Media on Thursday.
US-based Chevron along with Shell and ExxonMobil are months away from beginning production at the giant Gorgon liquefied natural gas project off the West Australian coast. The project will make Australia the world's biggest exporter of gas and provide a $40 billion royalties windfall for the government over three decades.
The companies have been criticised for their use of tax havens. Financial accounts show ExxonMobil and Chevron hold a combined $US87 billion in so-called "unrepatriated profits" in accounts in low-tax and no-tax jurisdictions.
A review of Chevron's Australian business has found its largest LNG tanker which has transported Australian gas to Asia since 2006 is owned by Chevron Transport Corporation Ltd, a company that is entirely incorporated in Bermuda, meaning its profits are accounted for in the Caribbean tax haven
The 96,000-tonne Northwest Swan, which is registered in Bermuda and flies the flag of that tiny nation, is currently in the Timor Sea, having left Withnell Bay in the Pilbara carrying LNG to Japan.
Chevron Transport Corporation is the parent company of Chevron Australia China LNG Transport Pty Ltd, a company registered in Australia. Its first director is Roy Krzywosinski, managing director of Chevron in Australia.
Mr Krzywosinski is also a director of Chevron Australia Transport, Australian Securities & Investment Commission documents show.
Two of his fellow seven directors of that company are residents of Bermuda. Debra Flood of Warwick in Bermuda is also the company secretary. A company registered in Bermuda shares the identical name of Chevron Australia Transport.
Chevron did not respond to detailed questions about its links to Bermuda.
Chevron's March 2014 quarterly accounts confirm Chevron Transport Corporation is part of its shipping operations. "CTC, incorporated in Bermuda, is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Corporation. CTC is the principal operator of Chevron's international tanker fleet and is engaged in the marine transportation of crude oil and refined petroleum products. Most of CTC's shipping revenue is derived from providing transportation services to other Chevron companies," the company said.
A search of a Bermuda database reveals 297 individual companies that include the name Chevron.
The International Transport Workers Federation, which represents workers on the offshore LNG projects of WA, has been trying to unravel Chevron's corporate structure.
Senior researcher Jason Ward said of the Australian operation's Bermuda links: "I can't see any other reason that this company [Chevron Transport Corporation] would be registered in Bermuda other than to minimise tax obligations in Australia and other countries.
Paddy Crumlin, president of the ITF said the links should be investigated by the Senate committee. "A light needs to be shone into the corporate structure of these huge global companies so that Australians can be confident the public is getting a fair tax take from those making massive profits out of the nation's resources."
The Australian Tax Office has been battling Chevron in court over $322 million in unpaid taxes between 2004 and 2008 – a time when Chevron had a near $5 billion stake in Caltex.