INPEX Holdings Inc. has announced that the Ichthys Joint Venture has decided that the designated industrial site on Blaydin Point on Middle Arm Peninsula of Darwin, has been selected as the location for its proposed LNG processing facility.

The joint venture is a deal between INPEX Browse Ltd. which holds a 76% stake, and Total E&P Australia which controls a 24% share.

INPEX Holdings President, Naoki Kuroda, indicated Darwin provides INPEX with the certainty required for the project’s tight schedule, to enable the first LNG shipment to be made in late 2014 or early 2015.

“We are pleased with the support we have received from the Northern Territory people, the Government and key stakeholders and we are impressed by the business and infrastructure capabilities in the area,” Kuroda said.

“Environmental, economic and engineering studies have demonstrated the viability of locating an LNG plant at Blaydin Point and have lent weight to this decision. Now that a location has been selected, front-end engineering design will follow shortly and a final investment decision is expected near the end of 2009 or early in 2010.”

Investment & production volumes
More than $20bn in capital expenditure will be required to construct the offshore and onshore facilities required to produce gas and condensate offshore, then delivering gas from the Ichthys Field to the Blaydin Point LNG processing facility, via an 850km pipeline.

The reserve volume of the Ichthys Field is estimated to be 12.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 527 million barrels of condensate. Initially the project is expected to produce more than 8 million tonnes of LNG, 1.6 million tonnes of LPG per annum and 100,000 barrels of condensate per day.

Such forecasted production volumes represent around 50% of current Australian annual LNG production, around 60% of current Australian LPG production and 20% of current Australian crude oil production respectively.

The Ichthys Project is poised to make a major contribution to Australian economy, while the Middle Arm Peninsula is thought to have the capacity to support the two initial LNG trains, and there is an opportunity for additional LNG trains to accommodate future expansion.