Total announced that the joint venture holding the Australian exploration permit WA-285-P (Total 24%, INPEX 76% operator) has decided to launch the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) for the development of the Ichthys Field, located in the Browse Basin approximately 200 kilometers offshore North West Australia and approximately 850 kilometers to the west of Darwin.
With proved and probable reserves estimated to be around 530 million barrels of condensate and 12.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, Ichthys is one of the largest discoveries in Australia, and will be the first major gas development in the Browse Basin Region.
Yves-Louis Darricarrere, President Exploration and Production Total, said, "With the launch of the Ichthys field offshore FEED, the project enters a new phase in which the facilities are defined and evaluated in more detail prior to the Final Investment Decision. Total, which is very active worldwide along the entire Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) chain, from field exploration and production to gas trading, is committed alongside INPEX to the development of the Ichthys project to deliver LNG to the markets."
About the Front End Engineering Design
During the Ichthys field FEED, the joint venture will define the production facilities comprising a subsea gas gathering network, a floating central offshore processing facility for the gas, a floating production storage and offloading unit for the condensate, and a gas pipeline to Darwin.
AMEC will be responsible for providing project management, engineering and other resources necessary to produce the FEED for a large semisubmersible gas production facility, a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading facility (FPSO), Umbilicals, Risers and Flowlines (URF), and a gas export pipeline.
A separate FEED for a LNG plant located onshore in Darwin to liquefy the gas produced from Ichthys was launched in January 2009. The LNG plant will contribute to the local economy, providing employment for more than 2,000 people during the plant construction, and for about 300 once in operation.
The Ichthys field was discovered by the drilling of the Brewster 1A exploration well in 1980. INPEX acquired the exploration permit in 1998 and has drilled eight further wells to appraise the field. Total joined the project in mid-2006. First production, aimed at the Asian market, primarily Japan, is expected in the middle of the next decade.
The project represents a major development for Total. Ichthys will have a production capacity of over 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, including 100,000 barrels per day of condensates, 1.6 million tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) per year and approximately 8.4 million tonnes of LNG per year.
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