TOKYO – INPEX has reported that the offshore and onshore sections of the Ichthys LNG project’s 890-km (553-mi) gas export pipeline have been safely welded together in Darwin, Australia.
Joining the two pipeline sections—882 km (548 mi) offshore and 8 km (5 mi) onshore—means the pipeline is now ready to deliver gas from the offshore Ichthys field in the Browse basin to the project’s onshore facilities at Bladin Point near Darwin for processing.
The 42-in. diameter pipeline is the longest subsea pipeline in the Southern Hemisphere and the third longest subsea pipeline in the world.
Ichthys Project Managing Director Louis Bon said: “We are very pleased with the overall safety performance during the pipeline manufacturing, construction, and installation processes spanning more than four years.
“Building the pipeline involved multiple movements of 73,000 individual 42-in. diameter, concrete coated pipe joints, with each pipe joint weighing approximately 26 [metric] tons.”
To protect workers from injuries associated with lifting, INPEX says it used innovative automated lifting equipment at the pipe fabrication and coating yards, and offshore installation vessels used state-of-the-art pipe joint handling systems.
“Today’s milestone means we are one step closer to physically connecting our onshore plant near Darwin to our offshore facilities which will be permanently moored in the Ichthys field for the 40-year life of the project,” Bon said.