Japan’s Inpex to boost Ichthys LNG stake

Japan’s Inpex plans to enter into a deal with compatriot Tokyo Gas to buy a small stake from the latter in the Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG export project in Australia.

Inpex said in a statement it would buy a 1.575 percent stake held by Tokyo Gas in the Ichthys LNG project through Tokyo Gas Australian project subsidiaries.

Through this acquisition, Inpex’s project subsidiaries would increase their participating interests in the Ichthys LNG project from 66.245 percent to 67.82 percent.

The firm did not reveal the price tag of the deal.

The deal includes interest in Block WA-50-L and Block WA-51-L including the Ichthys gas condensate field, shares of Ichthys LNG, a downstream company that owns LNG facilities, and interest in exploration permit WA-285-P.

Inpex said this agreement results from the October 2022 decision by Tokyo Gas to sell the shares in its Australian project subsidiary that holds the stake in the Ichthys project to EIG’s MidOcean Energy.

In accordance with the relevant joint operating agreements and shareholder’s agreement, Tokyo Gas notified the proposed sale to the projects’ participating interest holders whereupon Inpex exercised its preemptive rights to acquire Tokyo Gas’s participating interest, it said.

Inpex added the completion of the acquisition remains subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions, including approval by Australian government regulatory agencies.

Production up

The Japanese company has shipped 96 LNG cargoes from its Ichthys export plant during the January-September period of 2023, 16 cargoes more compared to the same period last year.

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 due to debottlenecking.

Last year, Inpex said that it plans to ship record 132 cargoes of LNG, or 11 per month, from the Ichthys plant in 2023.

Ichthys LNG is a joint venture between operator Inpex and major partner TotalEnergies.

Also, other partners include Australian units of CPC, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric Power, Jera, and Toho Gas.

Natural gas arrives to the LNG plant at Bladin Point from the giant Ichthys field offshore Western Australia via an 890 kilometers long export pipeline.

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