Ichthys gas field
|Start of production||2018|
|Current production of gas||10×106 m3/d|
350×106 cu ft/d 3.65×109 m3/a (129×109 cu ft/a)
|Estimated oil in place||70.7 million tonnes|
(~ 83.8×106 m3 or 527 million bbl)
|Estimated gas in place||366×109 m3|
12.8×1012 cu ft
The Ichthys gas field is a natural gas field located in the Timor Sea, off the northwestern coast of Australia. The field is located 220 km offshore Western Australia and 820 km southwest of Darwin, with an average water depth of approximately 250 metres. It was discovered in 2000 and developed by Inpex in partnership with Total, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric Power, Toho Gas, Kansai Electric Power and CPC.
First Gas from the Ichthys field was achieved on 30 July 2018. The first condensate cargo was loaded on 1 October 2018, followed by the first LNG cargo on 22 October 2018 with the first LPG cargo planned for later in 2018. Production of LNG will be facilitated through an onshore liquefaction plant located at Bladin Point, near Darwin, which will be connected to the offshore Ichthys field by an 889 km subsea pipeline. The LNG plant has a nominal plant capacity of 8.9 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) which will be achieved through two LNG processing trains.
It is one of the largest LNG projects in the world, with an initial project cost of US$34 billion. However, this cost was subsequently increased to US$37 billion and it is the largest overseas project undertaken by a Japanese company. While the total cost of the Chevron-sponsored Gorgon project is higher, the Ichthys project is more expensive per tonne of production due to the great distance between the offshore field and the onshore terminal. The infrastructure is being constructed by a joint venture between JGC Corporation, KBR and Chiyoda Corporation, with technical contributions by Samsung Heavy Industries, General Electric, McDermott and other contractors.
The total proven reserves of the Ichthys gas field are around 12.8 trillion cubic feet (366 billion cubic meters), and production is slated to be around 350 million cubic feet/day (10 million cubic meters/day).
The Central Processing Facility (CPF), the Ichthys Explorer, is the world's largest Semi-submersible platform weighing approximately 120,000 tonnes and with topsides measuring approximately 130m by 120m. The facility was designed to operate continuously for 40 years, and is built to withstand a 1 in 10,000 year event, which required anchor chains with individual links up to 1m in length.
The Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading Vessel (FPSO), the Ichthys Venturer, is 336m long and can hold 1.12 million barrels (178 thousand cubic metres) of crude oil. Like the CPF it is designed to last 40 years, much longer than a typical FPSO, which is vital due to the need to ensure liquids are removed from the gas trunkline to the Bladin point LNG plant. In a first, unlike other FPSOs mooring systems which are designed to allow the FPSO to disconnect, the Ichthys Venturer will be permanently moored on the turret. Most FPSOs disconnect and sail away when a cyclone approaches as their turrets are not designed to cope with the stresses/strains from cyclonic conditions. However, the LNG production as part of the Ichthys development requires the Ichthys Venturer to remain operational.
The strongest cyclone in the region was Cyclone Orson, which recorded wind speeds of 250 km/h or 155 mph. The tropical cyclones that the facilities are designed to withstand "swell with periods of 6-18 seconds from any direction and with wave heights of 0.5-9.0 metres" additionally, "current speeds may reach 1.0 m/s and occasionally exceed 2.0 m/s in the near-surface water layer".
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