NT emerging LNG hub

LNG is the name of the game in the Northern Territory, with the Ichthys project expected to reach final investment decision this year, strong prospects as a FLNG support hub and emerging shale gas potential in its frontier basins.
NT emerging LNG hub NT emerging LNG hub NT emerging LNG hub NT emerging LNG hub NT emerging LNG hub

Speaking at SEAAOC 2011 in Darwin, Inpex Darwin general manager Sean Kildare said there was nothing to prevent the 8.4 million tonne per annum Ichthys project from reaching FID by the end of this year.

He said more than $A900 million had been invested in developing the field and another $70 million on facilities in Darwin.

The project, which is a key plank of Inpex's corporate goal of hitting production of 800,000 to 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020, would offer Australian banks opportunities to participate in its funding, Kildare said.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson said Ichthys had space for up to two additional LNG trains beyond the two initial trains and an option over land for another two trains.

Henderson also played up Darwin and the Northern Territory's role in supporting the nascent floating LNG sector.

"Another key part of the industry is the growing profile of floating LNG. We expect seven to 10 FLNG projects either operating or at advanced stage of developments within the next decade in this region.

"One of those is Shell's Prelude project. Shell announced it will use Darwin as it marine support and maintenance base.

"That is a huge vote of confidence in our capital city and in the capabilities of northern territory business."

He also pointed to Sunrise, Bonaparte LNG, PTTEP's planned LNG development and Inpex's Abadi field as other potential FLNG projects.

"With this activity, I think you will agree the Timor Sea will develop into an FLNG epicentre and Darwin, with a purpose-built marine supply base, growing industry capability and a university focused on the workforce for this industry, is well positioned to be the logical support base for all of this industry."

Henderson said more than 70% of the Territory's land area was granted or under application for petroleum exploration and drilling had started to assess whether it had shale gas potential.

"Nevertheless, the potential is massive and the gas alone, if flow rates are economic could feed multiple LNG plants or even encourage downstream processing."

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