PERTH May 21 Inpex Holdings Inc (1605.T),
Japan's biggest oil and gas explorer, has raised the reserves
estimates for its Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project
off Western Australia, the Australian government said.
Reserves for the Ichthys field, located in the Browse
Basin, now stand at 12.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas and
527 million barrels of condensate, Australia's minister for
resources and energy, Martin Ferguson, said in a statement
issued late on Tuesday.
"At 527 million barrels, this is the largest liquid
hydrocarbon accumulation found in Australia since the Bass
Strait in the 1960s," Ferguson said in a statement.
Inpex has previously forecast proven and probable reserves
at Ichthys at 9.5 tcf of recoverable gas and 312 million
barrels of condensate.
Inpex and project partner Total (TOTF.PA) of France are
obtaining environmental approvals to build a LNG plant for
Ichthys gas either in the Maret Islands in the Kimberley region
of Western Australia, or on Middle Arm in Darwin in the
Initial LNG output of the project is set to top 8 million
tonnes a year, in addition to 1.6 million tonnes per year of
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and up to 100,000 barrels per day
First LNG output has been delayed to 2014, from an original
plan of the end of 2012, Inpex said earlier this month.
Inpex has a 76 percent stake in the field, while Total owns
(Reporting by Fayen Wong)