Australia’s Ichthys LNG, Where Challenges Abound

The big challenge for Total and INPEX is to bring the Ichthys LNG project's colossal resources on stream safely.



Louis Bon

Managing Director

Ichthys LNG Project (Total secondee)

The Ichthys project is a very big project, a strategic project for Total in Australia, because of the LNG side, where Total is one of the world’s leaders.

The project was actually sanctioned in January 2012, and it’s going to deliver its first LNG in September 2017.

Ichthys is four projects in one: one offshore with a CPF and an FPSO, and then a big onshore plant in Darwin that can produce 8.9 million tons of LNG per year. Between the two, a 42-inch, 890-kilometer-long subsea pipeline. And on top of that you have all the subsea facilities offshore.

8.9 million tons of LNG per year

889 kilometers

INPEX is the operator, Total is a major partner on the project with 30%.

INPEX 62.245%

Total 30%

Hitoshi Okawa

Director Corporate Coordination

INPEX Australia

This is a first challenge for INPEX, to be an LNG operator. Total provides the technical support to this Ichthys project. We have a long, long business history in the past. We started from Indonesia in the 1960s.

Louis Bon

INPEX chose a managing director from Total because Total has got quite a lot of experience in managing big project like that.

It is a huge project, compared to anything else that has been operated by Total.

Vince Kenny

General Manager of Construction

Ichthys LNG Project

We have huge diversity here, and the enormous team we have got, INPEX and Total together — although it’s very hard to tell the difference between who’s who, because we integrate really well.

Louis Bon

Total has got about 50 people seconded within INPEX, within the teams.

And it’s a big team: I manage almost 2,000 people, 30,000 workers worldwide.

50 Total secondees

30,000 workers worldwide

Vince Kenny

We have many, many different workers here, and our priority is to make sure that they understand the safety message, and that it’s communicated clearly to them.


Cornelius van Der Linden

Onshore Deputy Project Director

Ichthys LNG Project

Well safety is at the forefront of our preoccupations every day.
What is important for safety, it’s not only good procedures and good processes, but it’s visible leadership. And that’s what we’re trying to have.

Louis Bon

These facilities are designed to last for forty years, and that’s quite unique.

And also it’s designed to operate in cyclonic conditions.

40 years

Vince Kenny

Typically, you can expect somewhere between 4 and 8 cyclones in a year.

Louis Bon

Overall, the project today is just over 80% complete.

I think Ichthys is really indeed a new step in the development of Total, first big, big project where Total is at the forefront in Australia.

So every day is a new adventure. 

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