In 2000, INPEX discovered the Ichthys gas and condensate field offshore northwestern Australia in the Browse Basin of the Timor Sea.
On Sept. 26, 2008, the Ichthys joint venture (INPEX Browse, Ltd., then-76% but now 72.805%, operator; Total E&P Australia, 24%) announced a decision to proceed with the Ichthys Project. Tokyo Gas (1.575%) and Osaka Gas (1.2 percent) have since joined the JV.
On January 13, 2012, INPEX and Total announced their decision to proceed with the project. An offshore central processing facility (CPF) will remove water and raw liquids—including condensate—from produced natural gas. Condensate will be sent from the CPF to a nearby floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel, from which it will be transferred to tankers and shipped to markets. The natural gas, meanwhile, will be shipped from the CPF via an 889-kilometer subsea pipeline to an onshore LNG liquefaction terminal at Blaydin Point on Middle Arm Peninsula in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Inpex also is participating in the ConocoPhillips-operated Darwin LNG project, which is located near the proposed Ichthys LNG terminal.
The reserve volume of the Ichthys Field is estimated to be 12.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 527 million barrels of condensate. Initially the project would produce 8.4 million tonnes of LNG per annum, 1.6 million tonnes of LPG per annum, and 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak capacity. Total expects first production from the field in 2016.
Middle Arm Peninsula has the capacity to support the two initial LNG trains, and there is an opportunity for additional LNG trains to accommodate future expansion.
Offshore and Onshore FEED and Tenders
According to INPEX, AMEC Engineering is the lead contractor for the offshore front end engineering and design (FEED) work and Aker Solutions and JP Kenny are serving as subcontractors. Other major offshore contractors include:
- Central processing facility -- Samsung Heavy Industry
- Subsea production system -- General Electric
- Subsea flow line construction and installation -- McDermott in cooperation with Heerema
- Gas export pipeline -- Mitsui-Europipe, Sumitomo, Nippon Steel-Metal One (pipe manufacture); Mitsui-Bredero Shaw (pipe concrete coating); Saipem (pipelay)
- FPSO vessel -- to be announced
Handling the Ichthys onshore FEED contract is the JKC Joint Venture, which includes JGC Corp., KBR, and Chiyoda Corp. The onshore FEED work covers the following:
- two LNG trains with 8.4 million tonnes per annum capacity
- LPG and condensate processing plants
- LNG, LPG, and condensate storage tanks
- administration facilities
- utilities and services
- power generation infrastructure
- product offloading jetty
The Ichthys LNG Project will require more than 2,000 construction jobs and 300 full-time positions during operations.