INPEX CORPORATION has announced that the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project’s has commenced production of gas from the wellhead following the completion of final safety verifications including additional verifications concerning electrical equipment.
The Ichthys LNG Project reached a major milestone with the opening of the first offshore production well, marking the start of 40 years of operations of this gas and condensate field.
At full capacity, the offshore facilities are expected to produce 1,600 mmscfd of gas (285,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day) and 85,000 barrels of condensate per day. The gas will be exported to an onshore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant which will produce 8.9 million tons of LNG per year for supplying the Asian market, and approximately 1.65 million tons of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per year as well as an additional 15,000 barrels of condensate a day.
The produced gas will be gathered within the Central Processing Facility (Ichthys Explorer) where it will be separated into gases and liquids. Thereafter, the liquids will be piped to the nearby Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility (Ichthys Venturer) while the gases will be transported via the 890-kilometer long Gas Export Pipeline (GEP) to the onshore gas liquefaction plant at Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory.
At the FPSO, the condensate contained in the well fluids will be processed to remove water and other impurities, then stored in tanks prior to export by tankers. At the onshore gas liquefaction plant, gases will be processed to remove impurities after which any remaining condensate will be extracted.
The gases will then be separated and liquefied to produce liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be stored in tanks and shipped in sequence.
The Project expects to begin the shipment of products towards the end of the first half of the current fiscal year.
INPEX said it will continue to work toward the success of the Ichthys LNG Project with the understanding and cooperation of all its stakeholders, including the project’s joint venture partners, the local communities, the Australian federal government and the governments of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
“The start-up of production on Ichthys is a major achievement. Ichthys will be an important addition to Total’s portfolio in the fast growing LNG market and will also contribute to the Group’s production and cash flow growth in the coming years,” said Arnaud Breuillac, president Exploration & Production at Ichthys Project partner Total.
The project consists of the development of the Ichthys gas and condensate field offshore northwestern Australia (in 260 meters of water depth) and a 889-kilometer gas pipeline together with an onshore LNG plant near Darwin in the Northern Territory.The offshore facilities consist of a subsea well development connected to a central processing facility (CPF1) for gas treatment and a floating processing, storage and offloading (FPSO2) vessel for condensate.
Onshore installations consist of two LNG trains with a combined capacity of 8.9 million tons per year and facilities for the extraction and the export of LPGs and condensate.
Total holds a 30% stake in the Ichthys LNG project, alongside INPEX (operator, 62.245%) and 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%).