Drilling has commenced on the INPEX-operated Ichthys gas-condensate field, which is part of the Ichthys LNG project, located around 200km offshore Western Australia.
The first of 20 high-rate gas production wells to be drilled was spudded by the ENSCO-5006 drilling rig.
Ichthys LNG project managing director Louis Bon said the safe start of the drilling campaign was another major milestone for the project.
"This campaign will target the Brewster reservoir with 20 production wells. The wells will be drilled into reservoirs about 4,000 to 4,500m beneath the seabed."
Directional drilling technology will be used in the project and the wells will be grouped around five drill centres, each designed to house four to six wells.
Transocean’s Jack Bates semi-submersible drilling rig will also be used in the project.
INPEX expects to commence deepwater pipelay work for the project’s 889km-long gas export pipeline in the coming weeks.
The Ichthys LNG project is a joint venture between Inpex group companies, Total group companies and the Australian subsidiaries of Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric Power and Toho Gas.
The project will have an initial capacity to produce 8.4 million tonnes of LNG a year and 1.6 million tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas a year, as well as peak production of around 100,000 barrels of condensate per day.
UK-based oil field services provider Expro will provide well testing, large bore subsea landing string, well intervention, fluid analysis and surface sampling services for a significant scope of development work.
Image: The ENSCO-5006 drilling rig was used to spud the first of 20 high-rate gas production wells. Photo: courtesy of INPEX.