Japan’s INPEX today announced that gas export pipeline installation works began at its Ichthys LNG Project on June 28, following the earlier arrival of the Saipem-operated, semi-submersible pipelay barge SEMAC-1 in the Northern Territory.
The Project’s 889 kilometre Gas Export Pipeline will connect the onshore processing facilities near Darwin to the Ichthys gas-condensate field in the Browse Basin, offshore Western Australia.
Managing Director of Ichthys LNG Project Louis Bon said that the SEMAC-1 had officially started the 164 kilometre shallow water pipelay component of the gas export pipeline installation, which includes laying the first 18 kilometre section of 42-inch diameter pipe through Darwin Harbour.
“The gas export pipeline will deliver gas and some condensate from our offshore central processing facility to the Ichthys LNG Project onshore facilities at Bladin Point near Darwin so that it can be processed for export,” Bon said. “The commencement of the pipelay work means we are starting to physically connect our home base in Darwin to the Ichthys gas-condensate field where our semi-submersible offshore facilities will be permanently moored for the life of the Project.
Working from east to west in Darwin Harbour, the SEMAC-1 will first feed pipe to the Project’s landfall site for a three kilometre shore-pull. This work supports the onshore component of the GEP, which will stretch about seven kilometres from the beach valve at Middle Arm to the Bladin Point onshore processing facilities. The SEMAC-1 is scheduled to be in Darwin Harbour for about four weeks. In total, the 164 kilometre shallow water pipelay installation is scheduled to take about 80 days. Once completed, the SEMAC-1 will transfer work to Saipem’s deep water installation vessel, Castorone, which will lay the remaining 718 kilometres of pipe to the Ichthys gas-condensate field.
International oil and gas contracting service provider Saipem is the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contractor for the Ichthys LNG Project’s GEP and has extensive experience on similar large diameter pipeline projects around the world.