Japan's Inpex plans final test drilling at Indonesian gas field

Tokyo (Antara News) - Inpex Holdings Inc said it has decided to shortly launch a final test drilling at an offshore natural gas field in Indonesia to verify reserve levels and to determine whether to go ahead with commercial production there.

The exploration firm, which has acquired a 100 pct stake in an offshore site in eastern Indonesia's Timor Sea, said it has confirmed from previous drillings that the site is capable of generating 3 mln tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year.

"To verify reserve levels more accurately and make a final decision as to whether or not we should proceed with commercial production, we will launch a final test drilling at four locations from late this year or early next year, " an Inpex spokesman, who declined to be named, was quoted by XFN-Asia as saying.

"And if we decide to go ahead, we will submit a production plan to the Indonesian government, probably in 2008, for approval," he added.

Inpex said under a tentative plan, it aims to launch commercial LNG production at the Indonesian offshore field from 2014-2016, but it has not yet fixed any estimate as to the likely investment cost.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun earlier reported, without citing sources, that Inpex is likely to spend 500 bln yen on the Indonesian LNG project. (*)
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