Japan's Inpex to acquire a 17.5 % stake in Shell's Australian floating LNG project

Japan's energy explorer Inpex Corp today said that it will acquire a 17.5-per cent stake in the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia from Royal Dutch Shell in a cash deal.

The move comes after the Tokyo-based company sold a 30-per cent stake  in July in its Indonesian Abadi gas field.

It also comes after Inpex and Total SA of France agreed In January to invest $34 billion over the next five years in building the Ichthys liquefied natural gas project, which would become one of the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and one of Australia's most expensive energy projects (See: Energy giants Inpex, Total approve $34-bn Ichthys LNG project in Australia).

Inpex and Shell did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

The $8.9-billion Prelude gas project off the coast of Western Australia consists of the Prelude gas field and the Concerto gas field. These gas fields will produce at least 3.6 million tonnes per annum of LNG, along with 0.4 million tonnes per annum of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and approximately 36 thousand barrels per day of condensate at peak.

Shell made the final investment decision on the Prelude FLNG Project in May 2011, and is likely to be the world's first FLNG project. Shell is targeting production start-up around 10 years from when the Prelude gas field was first discovered in early 2007.