In 1998, INPEX acquired the petroleum exploration permit WA-285-P, located in the Browse Basin, off the north-west coast of Western Australia and approximately 820 kilometres south-west of Darwin.
During 2000 to 2001, three exploratory wells resulted in the discovery of an extremely promising gas and condensate field now known as the Ichthys Field.
The field was named after the classical Greek word for “fish”. Most likely resource estimates are 12.8 trillion cubic feet of gas and 527 million barrels of condensate to be produced over an operational life of more than 40 years. The Ichthys LNG Project is a Joint Venture between INPEX group companies (the Operator), major partner TOTAL group companies and the Australian subsidiaries of Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric Power and Toho Gas.
Gas from the Ichthys Field will undergo preliminary processing at the offshore central processing facility (CPF) to remove water and raw liquids, including a large proportion of the condensate. This condensate will be pumped to a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility anchored nearby, from which it will be transferred to tankers for delivery to markets.
The gas will be transported from the CPF through a subsea pipeline more than 885 kilometres to the onshore LNG processing plant proposed for Blaydin Point on Middle Arm Peninsula, Darwin, Northern Territory. It will be cooled to below minus 161 degrees Celsius, the point at which the gas becomes a liquid, known as liquefied natural gas.
The Ichthys Project will have an initial capacity to produce 8.4 million tonnes of LNG per annum and 1.6 million tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per annum, as well as approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.
The Project is now in the construction phase, following a Final Investment Decision (FID) in January 2012.
The gas processing plant will be onshore at Blaydin Point within Darwin’s Middle Arm Peninsula industrial area, not far from the Darwin LNG plant operated by ConocoPhillips. INPEX is also part of Darwin LNG project.
Key offshore facilities will include:
- Semi-submersible Central Processing Facility (CPF)
- Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit for condensate treatment and storage
- Umbilicals, risers and flowlines (URF)
- 885km export pipeline to Darwin
Offshore Facilities layout
Onshore facilities will include:
- Two LNG trains with a capacity of 8.4 million tonnes per annum
- LPG and condensate processing plants
- Storage tanks for LNG, LPG and condensate
- Administration facilities
- Utilities and services
- Power generation infrastructure
- Product offloading jetty
Darwin, Northern Territory, has been chosen as the site for the onshore processing facility.