The INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project has commenced drilling at the Ichthys gas-condensate field, about 200 kilometres off the Western Australian coast.

The first development well was commenced by the Project’s development drilling rig ENSCO-5006, which recently arrived at the Field after undergoing major upgrades in Singapore.

Managing Director Ichthys LNG Project Louis Bon said the safe start to the drilling campaign was another major milestone for the Project.

“Today we officially mark the beginning of our development drilling program after years of intensive optimisation studies and detailed planning,” Mr Bon said.

“This campaign will target the Brewster reservoir with 20 production wells.

“The wells will be drilled into reservoirs about 4,000 to 4,500 metres beneath the seabed.”

The project will use directional drilling technology and the wells will be grouped around five drill centres, each designed to accommodate 4-6 wells.

The ENSCO-5006 will be joined at a later date by Transocean’s semi-submersible drilling rig, Jack Bates. Both rigs will be supported with aviation and marine services, as well as bulk goods supplies, from INPEX’s dedicated offshore logistics base in Broome, Western Australia.

The next Ichthys LNG Project milestone, will be the start of the deep-water pipelay for the Project’s 889 kilometre-long gas export pipeline.

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