CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) yesterday said it has signed an agreement with Japan’s Inpex Corp that secures the firm rights in the Japanese company’s US$34 billion Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project off northern Australia.
The move marked CPC’s latest step into Australia’s growing LNG sector, as well as the Taiwanese company’s aggressive efforts to develop offshore exploration projects in recent years.
The state-run refiner said in a statement that it had acquired a 2.625 percent stake in Inpex’s flagship Ichthys LNG project in the Browse Basin, making the company the third-biggest stakeholder in the project after Inpex’s 63.445 percent stake and French energy giant Total SA’s 30 percent stake.
The firm did not disclose how much it had paid for the rights in the project, saying it started negotiations with Inpex about acquiring a stake from the Japanese firm in 2011.
“From technical assessment of the project to bilateral negotiation, it has taken more than two years to sign a deal,” CPC said in the statement. “The company will continue to seek opportunities to explore overseas gas fields, to help increase gas sources and improve supply stability.”
The Ichthys project is expected to start production by the end of 2016, CPC said.
The project at its peak is forecast to produce an annual output of 8.4 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas, as well as a daily output of 100,000 tonnes of condensate, a light crude oil, the company said.
The deal is pending the approval of the Australian authorities.