Total invests heavily in Australian LNG

Jan. 13, 2012 at 9:49 AM

PARIS, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- French supermajor Total announced it took one step closer to the natural gas markets in Asia with a $34 billion investment in an LNG project in Australia.

Total and its joint venture partner, Inpex Corp., announced they've made their final investment decision of $34 billion for the Ichthys liquefied natural gas project in Australia.

"Through this project, Total further increases its presence in Australia and its access to the Asian LNG market, the fastest growing market offering high-value prices," said Yves-Louis Darricarrere, president of exploration and production, in a statement.

The offshore central processing facility and the floating, processing, storage and offloading vessel for Ichthys, the French supermajor said, will be among the largest in the world. The installations associated with the LNG project will eventually produce 4.2 million tons of gas each year.

Total said Japanese and Taiwanese consumers have already purchased most of the volume from the project through a 15-year deal that ties the gas price to oil.

Construction of the LNG facility will begin during the second quarter of this year. First production is expected by 2016.

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