Inpex deciding where to process Ichthys gas

Japan's Inpex Holdings Inc. expects to make a decision by yearend on where to process gas from Ichthys field in the Browse basin off northwestern Western Australia.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, July 1 -- Japan's Inpex Holdings Inc. expects to make a decision by yearend on where to process gas from Ichthys field in the Browse basin off northwestern Western Australia.

Inpex, holding 76% of the lease, and project partner Total SA 24%, are obtaining environmental permits to build the planned LNG liquefaction facility at an onshore site at an LNG hub being promoted by the state government either on the Maret Islands off Western Australian, or on Middle Arm in Darwin in the Northern Territory (OGJ, Mar 10, 2008, Newsletter).

In May, meanwhile, Inpex Holdings Inc. raised the reserves estimates for Ichthy. It said Ichthys reserves for now stand at 12.8 tcf of gas and 527 million bbl of condensate. Inpex previously had forecast proved and probable reserves at Ichthys at 9.5 tcf of recoverable gas and 312 million bbl of condensate.

Initial LNG output of the project is set to top 8 million tonnes/year, in addition to 1.6 million tpy of LPG, and as much as 100,000 b/d of condensate. First LNG output has been delayed to 2014 from an original plan of the end of 2012, Inpex said in May.

Earlier this month, Inpex acquired two additional exploration permits near Ichthys gas field, saying it has a 20% stake in the WA-410-P, which covers an area of about 374 sq km in 450-600 m of water. Santos is the operator of the permit with a 30% interest, while Chevron holds the other 50%.

Inpex also has taken a 26.6% interest in the WA-411-P permit, which cover an area of about 2,323 sq km in 180-460 m of water. Santos is operator with a 63.6299% interest, while Beach Petroleum holds a 9.7637% stake.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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