ENERGY News spoke with INPEX President and CEO Takayuki Ueda last week following his meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison to discuss the future of the company in Australia. This comes as the company's board held its annual meeting in Darwin, the first time it has been held outside of Japan.
"We are using this opportunity to showcase our achievements here to our directors, many of whom are visiting Australia for the first time, and to discuss opportunities to expand our business here," Mr Ueda said.
"Ichthys LNG is the crown jewel in our global portfolio of projects.
"Ichthys is vital to the future of INPEX. Australia is very important in this regard and Ichthys LNG is our pride and joy."
INPEX announced the final investment decision for the project in January 2012, with the first LNG cargo departing the Ichthys LNG onshore facilities at Bladin Point near Darwin on 22 October 2018.
Since that first cargo, more than 100 cargoes of all product types (LNG, LPG and condensate) have safely departed Australia - with each cargo supporting a brighter future for communities here in Australia and across the globe.
"We are currently focused on the smooth ramping up of our Ichthys LNG onshore facilities, but at the same time there is potential to expand production in Australia through onshore and offshore opportunities" he said.
"We consider surrounding areas in the vicinity of the Ichthys Field to be highly prospective. In the future, offshore gas could be accessed through the five tie-in points that are strategically located along the Ichthys Gas Export Pipeline.
"We have room for up to four additional LNG processing trains in Darwin. For example, gas to feed an expansion train could come from the onshore Beetaloo Basin, or large gas fields in the offshore Bonaparte Basin.
"Of course, any new gas find would need to be commercially viable to support the development of a third train at Bladin Point."
Recently securing agreement from the Indonesian government for the Abadi LNG Project Plan of Development, INPEX is also looking to this huge development as a cornerstone of future expansion and production in the region.
"What is important to us is to transfer the lessons learnt from the Ichthys Project to the Abadi LNG Project.
"Australia is a centre of excellence for INPEX and our team here provides great expertise and knowledge for other projects to draw on."
"We are focused on sharing the vast experience gained from Ichthys with our team in Indonesia and across the globe. The rate of knowledge transfer from Australia is increasing now that Ichthys is in production.
"Building on the technical capabilities gained through Ichthys LNG, we will develop and apply new innovative technologies, aspiring to become a technical leader - this is part of our 2040 vision."
INPEX is proudly involved in more than 70 projects that span the globe. INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG is one of the world's largest and most complex oil and gas developments. Described as three megaprojects rolled into one, it incorporates some of the world's largest offshore facilities, the southern hemisphere's longest gas export pipeline and state-of-the-art onshore LNG processing facilities.