Regulator approves Ichthys petroleum pipeline operation plan

Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has approved Inpex’s environmental plan (EP) for the operation of the gas export pipeline (GEP) under the Ichthys LNG project.

Courtesy of NOPSEMA

According to NOPSEMA’s data, this plan, submitted on 28 December 2021, is the first five-year EP revision for the operation of the petroleum pipeline. It covers the next five years of the expected 40-year Ichthys field life.

Courtesy of NOPSEMA

As informed, operations are ongoing on a continuous 24/7 basis. During the life of this EP, inspection, maintenance and repair activities may be required to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the GEP and associated infrastructure.

Inspection of the GEP will be conducted in accordance with a risk-based inspection schedule and will generally involve a vessel travelling along the route of the pipeline using towed acoustic instruments, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

Additionally, marine acoustic surveys may also be undertaken during the time frame of this plan.

Maintenance and repair activities will be conducted based on the results of the inspection and monitoring of the GEP.

The Ichthys field is in petroleum production licence WA-50-L in the Browse Basin about 220 kilometres off the northwest coast of Western Australia.

Ichthys LNG’s 890-kilometre gas export pipeline delivers gas and some condensate from the Ichthys Explorer central processing facility (CPF) in the Browse Basin to onshore processing facilities at Bladin Point near Darwin.

Inpex’s subsidiary, Inpex Operations Australia, is working on the Ichthys LNG phase 2 development and it recently awarded a five-year onshore and offshore inspection services, lifting equipment and crane maintenance contract to EnerMech.

Heerema Marine Contractors’ Sleipnir vessel was selected by Inpex for the transport of the 4,800 metric ton Ichthys LNG Booster Compression Module (BCM) from Indonesia to Australia and its installation.

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