Ichthys Explorer LNG offshore central processing facility; Source: Inpex

TotalEnergies and Inpex snap up two gas fields off Australia from PTTEP

Two oil and gas players, TotalEnergies and Inpex, have inked an agreement with PTTEP for the acquisition of its 100 per cent interest in the AC-RL7 permit, which encompasses two gas fields in the Timor Sea, offshore Australia.

Ichthys Explorer LNG offshore central processing facility; Source: Inpex

Under the terms of this agreement, which remains subject to the approval of the competent authorities, TotalEnergies will acquire a 26 per cent stake in the permit, corresponding to its share in the Ichthys LNG project, while INPEX will acquire the remaining 74 per cent and assume the role of operator.

The AC/RL7 block is located off the northern coast of Western Australia and covers a surface area of approximately 418 square kilometres in the Timor Sea, where the water depth ranges between approximately 120 and 240 metres.

The block lies approximately 250 kilometres northeast of the Ichthys gas-condensate field, which supplies natural gas to the Ichthys LNG project where production operations are ongoing under the operatorship of Inpex in cooperation with its project partners.

As natural gas and condensate fields have been discovered at the AC/RL7 block, this raises expectations that the acquisition of a stake in the block will contribute to enhancing the project’s resilience and stable output.

Source: TotalEnergies
Source: TotalEnergies

Moreover, the AC-RL7 permit includes the Cash and Maple condensate gas fields, discovered in 2002 and 1989, respectively, and then assessed by several other wells. The development of these fields is expected to contribute to the long-term supply of the natural gas liquefaction plant of Ichthys LNG.

Julien Pouget, TotalEnergies Exploration-Production Director for Asia-Pacific, commented: “Through this joint acquisition with our partner Inpex, we are pleased to secure additional resources for the future supply of the Ichthys LNG plant. These resources will make it possible to meet the long-term demand for LNG from our customers in the Asia-Pacific region. 

“This acquisition also builds on the efforts undertaken with Inpex within the Bonaparte CCS assessment joint venture to assess the area’s CO2 geological storage potential, in order to reduce CO2 emissions from the Ichthys LNG project.”

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Located about 220 kilometres offshore Western Australia and 820 kilometres southwest of Darwin, the Ichthys field covers an area of around 800 km2 in water averaging depths of around 250 metres. An 890-kilometre pipeline exports gas and condensate from the field to onshore facilities for processing near Darwin. 

The Ichthys LNG project is a joint venture between Inpex (the operator, 66.245 per cent interest), TotalEnergies (26 per cent), CPC (2.625 per cent), Osaka Gas (1.200 per cent), Kansai Electric Power (1.200 per cent), JERA (0.735 per cent) and Toho Gas (0.420 per cent).

The final investment decision for the Ichthys LNG project was reached in 2012 and the first production started in July 2018. Inpex also started shipping condensate, LNG and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) later that same year and as the production ramp-up progressed.

Inpex intends to pursue its net-zero by 2050 target while providing a stable supply of diverse and clean energy and responding to the energy demands of Japan and other countries around the world by making its oil and gas business cleaner and implementing a shift to natural gas, as outlined in its Inpex Vision @2022, formulated in February 2022.

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