P’nyang gas resource increases by 84pc

Natural gas resources at the P’nyang field in Papua New Guinea have increased by 84 percent to 4.36 trillion cubic feet following an independent recertification study.

The increase supports a potential significant expansion of operations in the country.

ExxonMobil Corporation announced this following an independent recertification study by Netherland Sewell and Associates after the successful completion in January of the P’nyang South-2 well, located in the Western Province.

The results support ExxonMobil’s discussions with its joint venture partners on a three-train expansion concept for the PNG LNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant outside Port Moresby.

The concept entails one new train dedicated to gas from the P’nyang and PNG LNG fields, and two trains dedicated to gas associated with the Papua LNG project.

“The increase in the estimated resource size of the P’nyang field helps illustrate the tremendous growth opportunities for our operations in Papua New Guinea,” said Liam Mallon, president of ExxonMobil Development Company.

“We are working closely with our joint venture partners and the government to progress the P’nyang field development proposal and secure the licences needed to develop this world-class resource.”

The development concept, which would add approximately 8 million tons of LNG annually, would double the capacity of the existing LNG plant operated by ExxonMobil. 

“This investment would extend our gas pipeline infrastructure into the country’s Western Province and have a meaningful and lasting economic impact for Papua New Guinea and its people,” Mallon said.

The P’nyang field is located within petroleum retention licence 3, which covers 105,000 acres (425 square kilometers). ExxonMobil affiliates operate the licence with a 49 percent interest in the block. Affiliates of Oil Search have a 38.5 percent interest and JX Nippon has 12.5 percent interest.

Papua LNG is seeking to commercialise the Elk-Antelope fields located in petroleum retention licence 15 in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea.

An ExxonMobil affiliate holds 37.1 percent interest, and affiliates of operator Total S.A. and Oil Search Limited have 40.1 percent and 22.8 percent interest respectively. 

Cedric Patjole