Ichthys: From challenge to reality

Serceau, Antoine (INPEX)


The Ichthys LNG Project

INPEX has begun construction of one of the world's largest oil and gas projects following the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the US $34 Billion Ichthys LNG Project in Australia on 13 January 2012. The Ichthys LNG Project is a joint venture between INPEX (Operator) and Total with Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric and Toho Gas.

The Ichthys Field is situated in the Timor Sea approximately 200 kilometers off the Western Australian coast and over 800 kilometers from Darwin. Three exploratory wells drilled in 2000 and 2001 resulted in the discovery of an extremely promising gas and condensate field with resource estimates from two reservoirs totaling approximately 12TCF of gas and 500 million barrels of condensate. Conceptual studies, FEED and ITT followed and development leading to sanctioning of the Ichthys LNG Project by INPEX and Total.

Gas from the Ichthys Gas-Condensate Field in the Browse Basin will undergo preliminary processing offshore to remove water and extract condensate. The gas will then be exported to onshore processing facilities in Darwin via an 889 kilometer subsea Gas Export Pipeline (GEP). Most condensate will be sent to a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel for stabilization and storage prior to being shipped to global markets. The Ichthys LNG Project is expected to produce 8.4 million tons of LNG and 1.6 million tons of LPG per annum, along with approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.


Production from 20 subsea wells in the first phase - 50 will be drilled in total - will be sent to the Central Processing Facility via 8?? rigid lines connected to flexible risers. The flexibles will be supported by a 110 meter high jacket type riser support structure. You see, no aspect of the Ichthys LNG Project is small.

Effluents will be separated on the Central Processing Facility (CPF), a semi-submersible floater. Gas will be dried and compressed prior to being sent ashore via a GEP. Compression will be from four compressors, designed for 590.7 MMSCFD. Following initial treatment, most liquids will be transferred from the CPF to the nearby FPSO for processing and storage. The 330 meter-long FPSO will be a weather-vaning ship-shaped vessel that is permanently moored on a non-disconnectable turret. It has been designed with a storage capacity of nearly 1.2 million barrels. Loading of two offtake tankers in tandem will be possible from the FPSO.