Access to the acreage, consisting 50 blocks totalling approximately 4,000 sq km, would provide INPEX with additional potential oil and gas resources for development.
“While INPEX’s primary focus remains the delivery of the flagship Ichthys LNG Project, this announcement opens the door to possible greater INPEX investment in the NT,” INPEX Director Australia Ventures Tony Pytte said.
“This is a successful first step in which INPEX was assessed on work programs, expertise and financial capacity.”
INPEX tendered for the right to pursue exploration following the NT Government’s release of acreage in June and July last year.
Following this first step, INPEX expects a highly detailed and very closely monitored process of Native Title negotiation, overseen by the Department of Mines and Energy.
The process, which is required for any future offer of an exploration permit, will also involve consultation with pastoral land lease holders and could take up to two years.
INPEX’s Ichthys LNG Project is scheduled for first LNG in 2016, with a peak capacity of 8.4 MMt/a of LNG.
Equity interests in the project are INPEX 63.445 per cent, TOTAL 30 per cent, CPC 2.625 per cent, Tokyo Gas 1.575 per cent, Osaka Gas 1.2 per cent, Chubu Electric 0.735 per cent and Toho Gas 0.42 per cent.
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