Japan's Inpex sees more LNG sales from Ichthys project

PERTH Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:01am EST

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PERTH Nov 28 (Reuters) - Japan's Inpex expects to lock in more buyers for its Australian Ichthys liquefied natural gas project and did not push back its final investment decision due to difficulties marketing the gas, a company executive said on Monday.

"We are very confident in our ability to sign sale and purchase agreements prior to the final investment decision. Final investment decision is pretty imminent so watch this space," Bill Townsend, Inpex's general manager of external affairs and joint ventures, said at an industry conference.

Inpex recently pushed back its final investment decision from late this year to early next year.

"We've already announced half the gas sales and we are in discussions with five major Japanese utilities for the remaining volume," Townsend said. (Reporting by Rebekah kebede; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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