Total may buy stake in Inpex's $6 bln LNG project
Osaka Gas Co., Japan's second-biggest gas distributor, last month said it's in talks with Inpex on joining the Ichthys project. Tokyo Electric Power Co., Asia's biggest power producer, may buy LNG from Ichthys, it said in June.
LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to liquid form for transportation by ship to markets beyond the reach of pipelines. Import terminals return the LNG to gas form so that it can be sent through pipelines to customers such as factories, power stations and households. Total is in negotiations to buy the stake in the Ichthys field, 850 kilometers (528 miles) west of Darwin, and a proposed gas liquefaction plant, the officials said. Ichthys holds an estimated 9.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Japan, the world's biggest market for LNG, is competing with the U.S. and China for supplies as global demand surges. The switch to gas has been prompted by slowing discoveries of new oilfields demand from power producers seeking a cleaner-burning fuel than coal or oil. Japan's utilities are looking to gas projects in Australia and Russia to help make up for declining shipments from Indonesia, the world's largest LNG exporter. (Bloomberg)
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