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Ichthys LNG project hit by new delay

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LNG Industry,

According to Reuters, Inpex Corp has delayed gas production at its Ichthys field off the coast of Australia shortly after announcing that output was imminent.

Inpex’s new CEO, Takayuki Ueda, has stated that the company is yet to start gas production from the US$40 billion project, and there has been no new timetable announced for when it will happen.

Ueda had said on 1 June that commissioning of all onshore and offshore facilities at the project was complete and that gas would start flowing within a week or two; however in his most recent statement he declared: “There are various minor issues to address in the final safety checks ... but there are no major problems with the facilities.”

The Ichthys LNG project, already hit by multiple delays, is a major test for Inpex as it marks the first time the company has operated a major energy development on its own.

Commenting on subject of a new timetable for production, Ueda said, “We can start production in the not too distant future.” He added that the company will keep to its target of shipping its first LNG cargo by the end of September.

Ichthys will send gas from an offshore central processing facility through an 890 km pipeline to Darwin, where it will be processed into LNG for export.

Delays are common with large projects like Ichthys, however this project in particular has been plagued by a wide range of issues, including contractor disputes, technical difficulties, and bad weather.

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