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Japan's Inpex fires up major LNG project in northern Australia

Oil and gas distributor pushes into field dominated by Western companies

The Inpex-led Ichthys plant in Darwin, Australia, has an annual production target of 8.9 million tons of liquefied natural gas.

DARWIN, Australia -- Japanese oil and gas distributor Inpex said Monday it has started producing liquefied natural gas at its new site in Darwin, capital city of Australia's Northern Territory.

Inpex is the first Japanese company to lead such a large LNG development in a market long dominated by major Western oil companies such and Anglo-Dutch giant Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil of the U.S.

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