Japan's Inpex sells second condensate cargo from Ichthys project

SINGAPORE,  (Reuters) - Inpex Corp, Japan’s top explorer, sold its second condensate cargo from the Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia, industry sources said.

The company sold the late October-loading cargo to commodities trader Trafigura for delivery into the latter’s Papua New Guinea refinery at Napa Napa, one of the sources said.

Inpex has provisionally chartered the vessel “Sea Vine” to ship 80,000 tonnes of the condensate to Napa Napa, shipping fixtures showed.

Inpex last sold its maiden cargo from the project - 350,000 barrels of Ichthys condensate - to load between Sept. 28 and Oct. 8 to Exxon Mobil Corp, traders have said.

Inpex this week is also set to load the first LNG cargo from the project in northwestern Australia.

An Inpex spokesman in Tokyo said production had been going smoothly and that shipments of LNG and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were set to begin, but he declined to comment on commercial matters including the schedule for shipments.

Trafigura could not be immediately reached for comment.

Ichthys has seen multiple delays and cost overruns of billions of dollars due to technical difficulties. It was originally slated to start in 2016.

At full operation, Ichthys is expected to produce 8.9 million tonnes of LNG a year, along with about 1.7 million tonnes of LPG and about 100,000 barrels per day of condensate, an ultra-light form of crude oil. The company expects to take two to three years to reach full production.

Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan and Florence Tan, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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