INPEX, TotalEnergies acquire permit offshore Australia for long-term supply of Ichthys LNG

Aug. 21, 2023
INPEX Corp. and TotalEnergies agreed to acquire 100% interest in the AC-RL7 permit off the northern coast of Western Australia from PTTEP.

INPEX Corp. and TotalEnergies agreed to acquire 100% interest in the AC-RL7 permit off the northern coast of Western Australia from PTTEP with the aim of increasing long-term supply to the Ichthys LNG plant, in which both companies hold interest.

AC-RL7 covers about 418 sq km in the Timor Sea in water depth of 120-240 m. It lies about 250 km northeast of the Ichthys gas-condensate field, which supplies natural gas to the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG project.

The permit to be acquired includes the Cash and Maple gas and condensate fields, discovered in 2002 and 1989 respectively, and subsequently appraised by several wells. Field development is expected to contribute to the long-term supply of the Ichthys LNG plant, in which TotalEnergies is a 26% partner while INPEX and other Asian minority shareholders hold the remaining 74%.

The Cash-Maple project, which lies in the Ashmore Cartier territory about 680 km west of Darwin and 700 km northeast of Broome, contains an estimated 3.5 tcf of resources, according to PTTEP.

INPEX, through a newly established group company, INPEX Cash Maple Pty Ltd., will acquire operatorship and 74% of the participating interest held by PTTEP Australasia (Ashmore Cartier) Pty Ltd. in the block, the companies said in separate releases Aug. 21. TotalEnergies Exploration Australia Pty Ltd. will acquire the remaining 26% interest, in line with its equity in Ichthys LNG.

Completion of the deal is conditional on regulatory approvals.