Inpex, TotalEnergies secure more gas supplies for Ichthys LNG terminal

Japan’s Inpex and its partner France’s TotalEnergies have signed a deal with Thailand’s PTTEP to buy a block located offshore Western Australia in order to secure additional resources for the Ichthys LNG export plant near Darwin.

Under the deal, Inpex Cash Maple, a new Inpex unit, has agreed to acquire 74 percent of the participating interest held by PTTEP Australasia in the AC/RL7 block in Australia, while TotalEnergies Exploration Australia, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, has agreed to acquire the remaining 26 percent.

TotalEnergies also has a 26 percent stake in the Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG project.

Inpex said in a statement that the completion of the transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals.

The AC/RL7 block is located off the northern coast of Western Australia and covers a surface area of approximately 418 square kilometers, where the water depth ranges between about 120 and 240 meters.

It lies about 250 kilometers northeast of the Ichthys gas condensate Field, which supplies natural gas to the Ichthys LNG project.

Long-term supply to Ichthys LNG plant

This permit includes the Cash and Maple gas and condensate fields, discovered in 2002 and 1989 respectively, and subsequently appraised by several wells.

The development of these fields is expected to contribute to the long-term supply of the Ichthys LNG natural gas liquefaction plant, TotalEnergies said in a separate statement.

Inpex shipped 65 LNG cargoes from its Ichthys export plant during the first half of this year, up by one cargo compared to the same period last year.

The Japanese firm said in February that it plans to ship record 132 cargoes of LNG, or 11 per month, from the Ichthys plant in 2023.

The facility at Bladin Point near Darwin has two trains and a nameplate capacity of 8.9 mtpa but it is expected to reach a production of about 9.3 mtpa this year due to debottlenecking.

Besides operator Inpex and major partner TotalEnergies, other partners include Australian units of CPC, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric Power, Jera, and Toho Gas.

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