Japan-led Ichthys LNG project completes longest subsea pipeline in Asia-Pacific

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The laying of the 890 kilometres of pipeline of 42 inches in diameter began in June 2014.

In addition to being the longest subsea pipeline in the Southern Hemisphere, it is also the third-longest subsea pipeline in the world.


The feed-gas export pipeline will deliver gas from the Ichthys field offshore northwest Australia to the onshore facilities at Bladin Point, near Darwin, for processing.

“It means we are one step closer to physically connecting our onshore plant near Darwin to the Ichthys Field where our offshore facilities will be permanently moored for the 40-year life of the Project,” said Louis Bon, Managing Director of the Ichthys Project.

The pipeline has been installed by Saipem’s “Semac” and “Castorone” barges from Darwin to the Ichthys field.

Inpex said it would now conduct other necessary work on the pipeline in preparation for operational start-up.

The Japanese company had announced on September 11, 2015, that Australian project’s commercial start-up had been pushed back by up to nine months and completion costs had increased by around 10 percent to $US37.5 billion.

Inpex said the venture would come on stream between July and September 2017 instead of the previously scheduled date of December 2016.

The company, developing the project with France’s Total, said that in addition to pushing back the start-up, it was also increasing the anticipated production capacity by 6 percent to 8.9 million tonnes per annum from 8.4 MTPA.

The LNG from Ichthys project, which takes its name from the Greek word for “fishes”, has already been pre-sold on long-term contracts to Japanese utilities, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric Power and Toho Gas.

Inpex is also developing a floating LNG venture with Royal Dutch Shell in Indonesian waters called Abadi FLNG.

The two partners said in September 2015 that they would produce more LNG than originally envisaged from the Abadi FLNG project and have revised their development proposals for the government in Jakarta.

The Abadi FLNG project aims to develop huge potential gas reserves in the Masela Block in the Arafura Sea.

One of the reasons given for now planning to produce 7.5 million tonnes of LNG per annum from the FLNG hull instead of its original 2.5 MTPA is the larger volumes of feed-gas available.

Inpex brought Shell into the Abadi FLNG project in 2012 and in return acquired a stake in the Anglo-Dutch group's Prelude FLNG venture in the Browse Basin offshore northwest Australia.