• SHARE

Inpex Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest oil developer, will produce liquefied natural gas in Australia, with overall investment in the project estimated at 550 billion yen to 700 billion yen, according to company sources.

The joint holding company, under which Japan’s Inpex Corp. and Teikoku Oil Co. integrated their operations April 3, will develop its own Ixis gas field in a mine lot 200 km off the northwest coast of Australia, the sources said.

The right to develop the Ixis gas field was obtained by Inpex in 1998.

Inpex Holdings plans to produce 5 million tons of LNG a year from the field and sell it to Japanese electric power and gas companies, the sources said.

It discovered a gas field there in 2000 and has confirmed deposits totaling 280 billion cubic meters, equivalent to about four years of Japan’s natural gas consumption.

The planned production amounts to about 10 percent of Japan’s overall annual LNG imports.

Inpex Holdings will seek participation of Japanese and foreign companies in the project in a bid to share the investment risk, the sources said.

The estimated investment value includes costs for constructing pipelines and LNG-making facilities, they said.

Japan fields in a part of the East China Sea which it has disputed with China for years.