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INPEX and Total launch the $34B Ichthys offshore Australia LNG Project; entire 8.5 Mt/y LNG output already sold for 15 years

Screen Shot 2012-01-13 at 6.21.03 AM
Location of the Ichthys project. Source: INPEX. Click to enlarge.

Japan-based INPEX Corporation and its joint venture partner Total have made the final investment decision (FID) for the Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia, representing an investment of US$34 billion dollars. INPEX is the operator—its first time in that role for a world-class project; Total holds a 24% interest. Ichthys will develop approximately 3 billion barrels oil equivalent of reserves, including around 500 million barrels of condensate. First production is expected at the end of 2016.

The Ichthys project consists of the development of the Ichthys gas and condensate field offshore North West Australia lying in 260 meters (853 feet) of water depth and the construction of an 889-kilometer (552-mile) gas transmission pipeline together with an onshore LNG plant near Darwin in the Northern Territory.

The Ichthys FID announced today by INPEX and Total signals the start of construction of one of the world’s largest LNG facilities based on an estimated 40 years of gas and condensate reserves from the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia. In delivering this important project into production we will be securing vital long-term energy supply to Japan...Ichthys production volumes represent more than 10% of Japan’s LNG imports at current levels. Ichthys will provide a long-term stable supply of cleaner energy to Japan, and help Japan diversify its energy sources.

—INPEX Chairman Naoki Kuroda

The offshore facilities will consist of a subsea well development connected to a central processing facility (CPF) for gas treatment and a floating processing, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for condensates. The CPF and the FPSO will both be one of the largest in the world.

Onshore installations will consist of two LNG trains with a capacity of 4.2 million tons per year each and facilities for the extraction and the export of LPGs and condensate. In addition to its LNG production, the Ichthys project is expected to generate 1.6 million tons per year of LPGs and 100,000 barrels of condensate a day at peak.

The entire annual production of LNG from the Ichthys project (8.4 million tons per year) has already been sold for 15 years under oil-linked price contracts, mostly directed to third-party consortiums of Taiwanese and Japanese buyers including INPEX. Total Gas & Power Limited, the gas trading subsidiary of Total, will also purchase 0.9 million tons per year of LNG from the project to supply directly its customers.

The plans for development and operation of the Ichthys project have been approved by Australian authorities, and construction will commence in the second quarter of 2012.

Total E&P has been present in Australia since 2005 and has interests in nine offshore exploration licenses—four of which it operates—in the Browse, Vulcan and Bonaparte Basins on the northwest shelf.

In addition to the Ichthys project, Total has, in Queensland, a 27.5% interest alongside Santos, Petronas and Kogas in the GLNG Coal Seam Gas to LNG project launched in early 2011. The GLNG project consists of the development of coal seam gas fields, the construction of a 420-kilometer (261-mile) gas transmission pipeline and of a liquefaction plant of 7.2 million tons per year. First LNG will be delivered in 2015.

Total is a leading producer in the LNG sector, with positions along the LNG chain. Total is active in most of the major LNG producing regions as well as main LNG markets and continues to develop LNG as a key component of its growth strategy.

The group has interests in LNG projects in Indonesia, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Angola, and Russia. The Group has also secured long-term access to LNG re-gasification capacity located in key LNG markets.



That much funds applied to battery development could produce ultra performance batteries (1000+ Wh/Kg) by 2020 or so.

However, more NG could be a gap filler for Japan Nuclear energy shortage problems.

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