(EnergyAsia, March 20 2012, Tuesday) — Japan’s leading upstream company, INPEX Corp, said its subsidiary, INPEX Oil & Gas Australia Proprietary Limited, has agreed to acquire a 17.5% interest in the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project from Shell Development (Australia) Proprietary Limited (SDA), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc.

Neither company disclosed financial terms of the transaction for the project which must be approved by the Australian government.

The FLNG terminal, located in WA-44-L, 475km north-northeast of Broome city off the coast of Western Australia, will develop the Prelude and Concerto gas fields for the annual production of at least 3.6 million tonnes of LNG and 400,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) along with 36,000 b/d of condensate at peak. Shell decided last May to invest in Prelude, likely making it the world’s first FLNG project when it starts up around 2017.

INPEX said it is also working with Shell to develop an FLNG project in Indonesia’s Abadi field. Elsewhere, INPEX is operating the Ichthys LNG project in Darwin in northern Australia, a Canadian shale gas project, and three projects in Indonesia, namely Mahakam, Bayu-Undan (JPDA) and Tangguh LNG.

Directed by the Japanese government to meet the country’s energy demand, INPEX is actively involved in 71 oil and gas projects in 26 countries, producing more than 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.