One cannot be sure what as more audible. The whoosh of hydrocarbons or the sighs of relief in Japan as Inpex’s belated Ichthys LNG project finally delivered first gas to begin an expected 40-years of production.
While Tokyo boasts the most punctual trains in the world – marginally superior to the Swiss – at the Ichthys field offshore Western Australia it was a case of better late than never yesterday as Inpex proudly announced the milestone moment from its flagship project.
Inpex said that it now expects to ship first cargo from the estimated $54 billion project’s LNG plant in Darwin by the end of September.
Japan’s biggest offshore investment and the first LNG project operated by Inpex, has come online almost two years after the initial target for first gas.
Ramping up to full capacity over the next 23 months, Ichthys will reach a nameplate capacity of 8.9 Mtpa of LNG, approximately 1.65 Mt of liquefied petroleum gas and 100,000 barrels of condensate per day.
Inpex, as operator, has a 62% interest in Ichthys, with Total holding 30% and Taiwan’s CPC Corp and Japanese utilities the remainder.