Italian oilfield services provider Saipem has secured a contract to provide front-end engineering and design (FEED) services for the Ichthys liquified natural gas (LNG) field development.

Operated by Japanese energy firm INPEX, the Ichthys LNG field is located off the north-west coast of Western Australia (WA).

It is situated on block WA-285-P in the Browse Basin of Timor Sea and lies at a water depth of 250m. The LNG development has an expected operational life of 40 years.

The FEED contract covers a booster compression module (BCM), which the operator plans to add on the ‘Ichthys Explorer’ central processing facility.

Saipem noted that the scope of the contract includes the option to provide a ‘lump sum price’ to execute the full engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) scope, right from detailed design to fabrication, as well as loadout.

Saipem E&C Offshore Area Manager North Pacific/East Indian Ocean Gianalberto Secchi said: “This contract furthers our sustainable presence in this strategic market.”

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The Ichthys field was discovered in 1980 by Woodside Petroleum with the drilling of the Brewster 1A exploration well. In 1998, Inpex acquired the rights to the field and began exploration activities.

INPEX owns a 62.245% interest while Total E&P Australia holds a 30% interest in the Ichthys field. The remaining interests are shared between Tokyo Gas (1.57%), Osaka Gas (1.2%), CPC Corporation Taiwan (2.625%), Kansai Electric (1.2%), JERA (0.735%) and Toho Gas (0.42%).

Recently, American offshore engineering and construction services provider McDermott International also secured a contract to provide FEED services for the Ichthys field development.