The Ichthys Explorer, the Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG project’s central processing facility (CPF), has sailed away from its construction site in Geoje, South Korea en route to the Ichthys Field offshore Western Australia.
The Ichthys Explorer, built by Samsung Heavy Industries, will be towed to the Ichthys Field over a period of approximately six weeks. After hook-up, the facility will separate and process the produce lifted from subsea production wells into gases and liquids.
It is designed for over 40 years of continuous operation.
The Ichthys Venturer, the project’s FPSO facility being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, is also scheduled to be towed to the Ichthys Field and undergo hook-up soon. Production is expected to commence before March 31, 2018 with production of condensate, LNG and LPG in sequence.
Inpex, as operator, has a participating interest of 62.245 percent) alongside major partner Total (participating interest: 30 percent) and the Australian subsidiaries of CPC Corporation, Taiwan (participating interest: 2.625 percent), Tokyo Gas (participating interest: 1.575 percent), Osaka Gas (participating interest: 1.2 percent), Kansai Electric (participating interest: 1.2 percent), JERA (participating interest: 0.735 percent) and Toho Gas (participating interest: 0.42 percent).
The project is expected to produce approximately 8.9 million tons of LNG and approximately 1.6 million tons of LPG per year, along with approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.
Size and scale
The Ichthys Explorer is the world’s largest semi-submersible platform. It weights around 120,000 tonnes, with topsides measuring 130 meters x 120 meters (427 feet x 394 feet). It has living quarters for up to 200 people. Preliminary processing of well fluids is undertaken by the CPF, gas sent via the 890-kilometer (550-mile) gas export pipeline (the longest in the Southern Hemisphere) to Bladin Point, Darwin.
Once moored at location at the Ichthys Field (approximately 200 kilometers (125 miles) off the northwest coast of Australia in the Browse Basin), installation hook-up and commissioning will commence. It will be permanently moored in water about 250 meters (820 feet) deep by 28 anchor chains and oriented in a north-west to south-east direction. Around 25,000 tons of mooring chain will be used to secure the CPF to the seabed.
40 years of continuous operation
The facility will then separate and process the well fluids lifted from subsea production wells into gases and liquids over 40 years of continuous operation. The offshore processing facilities and offloading facilities are designed for permanent mooring and continuous operation. The CPF is moored in a cyclone area – it is built to withstand a 10,000 year weather event.