Basic LNG framework agreed to: PM

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the basic framework of the Papua LNG Project agreement has been agreed to by stakeholders.

Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the State and Total and its partners, ExxonMobil and Oil Search, the Prime Minister said they are happy with the current framework.

Whilst discussions on the final commercial agreement are being negotiated, the Prime Minister said: “There are technical and financial details that need to be negotiated but the basic framework of the agreement has been agreed to, the physical terms have been agreed to and the desire of the benefit sharing arrangement between the stakeholders, particularly the landowners, the provincial governments and the state, is something that we are very much concerned about.

“We are happy to say that we have reached a very constructive understanding with Total and the Project partners,” said O’Neill.

Another major feature on the agreement, which the Government is pushing for, is domestic market obligation.

“I can also state very clearly again that we are very much interested in developing a local industry, and this project is now paving the way for us to do that, and we look forward to expanding the petro-chemical industry in our country, which will create thousands of jobs and opportunities for our people and that is the desire for this country.”

This MOU is a significant step forward for the Project and forms the basis for a gas agreement that allocates project benefits and returns among stakeholders.

It follows the Papua LNG and PNG LNG joint venture parties reaching broad alignment in early 2018 on the preferred downstream concept for the next phase of LNG development in PNG.

This comprises the construction of three 2.7 MTPA LNG trains, producing approximately 8 MTPA, all located on the existing PNG LNG Project plant site.

Two trains will be supplied with gas from the Elk-Antelope fields, while one train is underpinned by gas from the existing PNG LNG fields and the P’nyang field.

Together, Elk-Antelope and P’nyang contain more than 11 tcf of undeveloped 2C gas resource.

Cedric Patjole