Gas and LNG in particular is at the heart of INPEX Corporation (INPEX). Its flagship Ichthys LNG project expects first LNG in late 2017. The project is expected to absorb nearly 70% (US$7 billion) of INPEX's total 2016/17 capital expenditure hence successful execution is a top strategic priority.Historically INPEX has been financially prudent holding a significant amount of cash on its balance sheet. However the price drop coincided with peak investment in Ichthys LNG and INPEX had limited scope to cut costs. Exploration as one of the few items of discretionary spend in the budget has been slashed as a consequence with only 2.5% (US$155 million) of capital expenditure planned in the 2016/17 financial year allocated to exploration; a 15 year low.