Inpex readies Ichthys pipeline for offshore gas (Australia)

Japanese oil and gas company Inpex has informed that the 890-kilometer pipeline at its Ichthys project offshore Australia is ready to flow gas.

The company has said that offshore and onshore sections of the gas export pipeline were welded together on Wednesday, November 9 in Darwin, Australia.

Inpex said on Wednesday that joining the two pipeline sections, 882 kilometers offshore and eight kilometers onshore, means the pipeline is now ready to deliver gas from the offshore Ichthys field to the project’s onshore facilities at Bladin Point near Darwin for processing.

According to Inpex, the 42-inch diameter pipeline is the longest subsea pipeline in the southern hemisphere and the third longest subsea pipeline in the world.

Louis Bon, Ichthys Project Managing Director, said: “We are very pleased with the overall safety performance during the pipeline manufacturing, construction and installation processes spanning more than four years.

“Building the pipeline involved multiple movements of 73,000 individual 42-inch diameter, concrete coated pipe joints, with each pipe joint weighing approximately 26 tonnes.”

The company said it used automated lifting equipment at the pipe fabrication and coating yards, and offshore installation vessels utilized pipe joint handling systems to protect workers from injuries associated with lifting.

“Today’s milestone means we are one step closer to physically connecting our onshore plant near Darwin to our offshore facilities which will be permanently moored in the Ichthys Field for the 40-year life of the Project,” added Bon.

The Ichthys LNG Project is a Joint Venture between Inpex, the operator, major partner Total, CPC Corporation Taiwan and the Australian subsidiaries of Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric Power, Chubu Electric Power and Toho Gas.

A Final Investment Decision for the Ichthys LNG project was reached in 2012, and first production is scheduled to start towards the end of September 2017.

The project is expected to produce 8.9 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tonnes of LPG per annum, along with more than 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.

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