Japan’s Inpex Corp has delayed gas production from their $40 billion Ichthys Field project, located off the coast of Australia, only weeks after assurances that the company’s output would commence shortly.
Similarly, it has just been reported that the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) allegedly found ‘defiencies in the suitability of electrical equipment in hazardous areas’ during a four-day inspection of the Ichthys Explorer platform in late June, according to a NOPSEMA spokeswoman.
“Inpex has informed NOPSEMA that it has delayed introducing hydrocarbons to the platform to address the identified deficiencies,” the spokeswoman said, declining to comment on the specific technical issues.
Before this, Takayuki Ueda, President at Inpex Corp said that “there are various minor issues to address in the final safety checks … but there are no major problems with the facilities”, in his first interview with overseas media since taking the helm at Inpex last month.
At full operation, Ichthys has been predicted to produce up to 8.9 million tonnes of LNG a year, along with about 1.7 million tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and around 100,000 barrels per day of condensate, an ultra-light form of crude oil.
It is important to note that delays on projects this scale are common, but this development seems to have been affected by several misfortunate complications such as contractor disputes, technical difficulties and bad weather.
NOPSEMA said its inspection has yet to be formally concluded so it could not provide any further details right now.