BRISBANE – Japan’s top oil and gas producer Inpex Corporation wants to grow its liquefied natural gas (LNG) production in Australia through expansion of hydrogen and nature-based carbon offset projects, a senior executive said on Wednesday.
Inpex’s stake in the $ 40 billion Ichthys LNG project and other gas projects contributed more than 70% of the company’s global revenue last year and now the company has set up a “new energy” business in Australia to explore other opportunities.
“So Australia is becoming really important and increasingly important because of our desire to grow our business here,” said Bill Townsend, vice president of Inpex.
Its top priority is to find new gas sources to supply its Ichthys LNG plant in Darwin, as it wants to increase output from its two processing units or trains by 0.4 million tons a year to 9.3 million tons a year by 2024, Reuters reported.
The goal is to keep the ichthis offshore central processing facility, pipeline and LNG plant at full capacity for their estimated 40 years of life, he said.
There is room for more trains at the ichthis LNG plant site, and adding one more train is an ambition, “but to announce something too soon, because the first thing we have to do is find the gas,” Townsend said.
While exploring for gas, the company is also working on plans to reduce emissions from its own operations using the proposed াবে 1 billion hub carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the eroded Bayu-Undan reservoir in the Timur Sea, and Darwin’s closed water in its own project.
It has applied for a greenhouse gas storage acreage 270 km from Darwin, which the Australian government announced in a recent bidding round, to be awarded after the country’s May 21 election.
Below the track, when there is a demand for hydrogen, the company would like to make hydrogen from methane, capturing the released carbon dioxide using CCS.
“That’s where CCS came into being – not just cleaner LNG, but probably hydrogen,” Townsend said.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul, Editing by Lewis Heaven)