Gas Flowing From Ichthys LNG Project
The long-awaited Ichthys LNG Project off Western Australia has finally started gas production. LNG liquefaction is expected in a few weeks.
Production has begun from the Inpex-operated Ichthys gas-condensate field in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia. LNG production from the $40-billion project, which was beset by multiple delays, is expected to follow by the end of September.
Produced gas from the subsea wells will be sent to the 120,000-tonne Ichthys Explorer semisubmersible platform for processing. Condensate will then be sent to the Ichthys Venturer floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel, processed, and then stored before tanker export. The offshore facilities are expected to produce 1.6 billion scf/D of gas and 85,000 B/D of condensate.
Gas will be sent through the 890-km Gas Export Pipeline to the onshore liquefaction plant in Darwin, Northern Territory, where it will be processed, separated, and liquefied to produce LNG and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The plant will produce 8.9 million tonnes/year of LNG for the Asian market, 1.65 million tonnes/year of LPG, and 15,000 B/D of condensate.
Ramp up to full capacity is expected to take 2-3 years. Initially slated to start up in 2016, the project is expected to last 40 years. Inpex has held the block’s exploration permit since 1998. It reached a final investment decision on the project in 2012.
Inpex has a 62.245% stake in the project. Total holds 30%; CPC Corporation, Taiwan, 2.625%; Tokyo Gas 1.575%; Osaka Gas, 1.2%; Kansai Electric Power, 1.2%; JERA, 0.735%; and Toho Gas, 0.42%.