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Papua New Guinea's second major LNG gas project finally approved

Christian Fernsby |
A major Liquefied Natural Gas project has been given the greenlight to proceed in Papua New Guinea.

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After twenty-two months delay, PNG's government has signed the Agreement for the Papua LNG Project with French company Total and partners ExxonMobil and Oil Search.

The project, based on the Elk / Antelope gas fields in Gulf Province, is estimated to be worth $US12-billion

After an initial Memorandum of Understanding in early 2019, the project was held up by landowner issues and a change in government leadership in this sector.

Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua said the long incubation period was also about exploring whether this project could link up with fledgling P'nyang project in Western Province.

"After 22 months it was felt that we should de-link the two projects," Kua told media at the event.

"Papua LNG, because it's a fully executed agreement, is capable at proceeding as a stand-alone project. And P'nyang can follow its own pace after this event."

An earlier venture, the LNG Project led by Exxon, began exports in 2014, positioning Papua New Guinea as a significant energy producer.

The new project agreement was signed yesterday at Government House in Port Moresby attended by Kua, Prime Minister James Marape and representatives of Total, Exxon Mobil and Oil Search.

Kua said the signing would enabled the Front End Engineering & Design to go ahead, with the Construction phase to follow in due course.

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