Japanese fast track Aussie gas

100pc ownership: The company owns 100 per cent of the lchthys field, about 440km north of Broome in the Browse Basin, which is estimated to hold at least six trillion cubic feet of gas.

$AU8.1bn development: Inpex sources told Japan’s Nikkei news wire the company was prepared to spend between Y550 billion and Y700 billion ($AU6.4 billion and $AU8.1 billion) developing the resource.

Project to kick off in 2010: The company wanted to produce "a substantial volume" of gas from the project by 2012, Nikkei reported on its website. An Inpex presentation has the start date for the project at as early as 2010.

Development partners sought: Inpex was looking for partners to help it fund the development and has reportedly approached international oil majors. The Japanese company would keep its leadership role, Nikkei said.

No word sent to feds: A spokesperson for Federal Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane said the government had not yet been approached about the development. Inpex is already involved in a number of projects in Australia.

The Courier Mail, 10/4/2006, p. 28

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