Uncertainty over another Inpex indigenous project

ICHTHYS LNG project operator Inpex has come under media pressure over a "stalled" plan to offset greenhouse gases through a project with indigenous participation in the Northern Territory.
Uncertainty over another Inpex indigenous project Uncertainty over another Inpex indigenous project Uncertainty over another Inpex indigenous project Uncertainty over another Inpex indigenous project Uncertainty over another Inpex indigenous project

In 2011 the Ichthys joint venture announced a $A91 million heads of agreement with the NT government over environmental and social offsets with $37 million slated for a savannah fire management program in the Daly River area and the Delissaville-Wagait-Larrakia Aboriginal Land Trust.

This program, with the promised funding since "revised" to $34 million, is yet to receive any money for its goal of implementing prescribed savannah burning to reduce wildfire risks in the Top End.

"This is obviously an important investment opportunity for Aboriginal groups, and we are wondering what has happened to that money and why so much time has gone by since Inpex made that commitment," Environment Centre NT acting director Anna Boustead told the ABC.

In early 2014, Inpex struck a memorandum of understanding agreement with Indigenous Land Corporation over the aim of negotiating a further agreement to manage the savannah fire program.

While there is a lack of progress since, Inpex is still keeping in touch with the indigenous groups that were part of the expressions of interest phase in 2012.

"These negotiations are ongoing and the project continues to keep EOI respondents informed and updated on progress," Inpex told Energy News.

"As a participant and signatory to the voluntary environmental and social offsets package, the Ichthys LNG Project keeps the Northern Territory Government informed of progress with the program.

"Savannah fire management reduces the Territory's CO2- emissions and create job opportunities in regional areas."

The Inpex-operated project is targeting 8.4 million tonnes per annum of LNG capacity from the two planned trains near Darwin, along with 1.6MMtpa of liquefied petroleum gas and about 100,000 barrels of condensate per day from the Ichthys field at its peak.

First production is expected in late 2016.

Ichthys' reservoirs are about 200km off Western Australia's coast in the Timor Sea and host an estimated 12 trillion cubic feet of gas and 500 million barrels of condensate.

The Ichthys JV-funded Larrakia Trade Training Centre to provide indigenous LNG workers has also experienced various setbacks. Advanced Training International broke the lease agreement in recent months with no training provider running the facility since.