PNG eyes broader use of gas

Papua New Guinea’s plans to expand its liquefied natural gas (LNG) production to meet rising demand in the Asia-Pacific region was one of several topics explored by Wapu Sonk, Managing Director of Kumul Petroleum Holdings.

This was in a wide-ranging interview he gave recently to Oxford Business Group’s online broadcasting channel, Global Platform.

The full interview is available to watch at

Sonk told viewers that PNG’s strategic location, together with broad public support for the extractive projects, and other advantages, meant the country was well placed to benefit from rising energy consumption in the region.


He said three new trains for LNG were expected to be added to the two currently in operation, while further expansion plans would see the P’nyang gas field developed within the next 10 years.

“We are looking at a $20bn investment in the country from a FEED start in 2020 and first gas from P’nyang in 2028,” he explained.

With lower LNG prices changing the global energy landscape, Sonk said he believed five trains were sufficient for PNG’s gas projects and that it was the right time to sharpen the focus on downstream activities.

“For balance of the gas, we should now look at the petrochemical and power industry and try and broaden the use of the gas,” he told OBG. “When the agreements were put together for the PNG LNG project, I think everybody was focusing on LNG export and we did not know what opportunities come with it. Now we are learning and learning fast as well, so it’s really an evolving story.”

Sonk also highlighted the steps taken to harness PNG’s gas for electricity generation, which he described as important for the country, saying: “We are putting cheaper and more efficient power into Port Moresby using gas.”

Marc-André de Blois, OBG’s Director of PR and Video Content, said the interview with Sonk provided valuable insight into PNG’s plans for expanding LNG production and giving gas a bigger role in driving new economic growth.

“PNG has already shifted the emphasis from oil to LNG, and future projects in the sector are expected to involve a greater spread of activities as the country looks to diversify its economy and strengthen its infrastructure,” he said.

“This approach will inevitably produce a more business friendly environment, encouraging investment opportunities in sectors such as tourism and agriculture, which I’m sure will be of considerable interest to our subscribers.”

(File picture of Managing Director of Kumul Petroleum Holdings, Wapu Sonk)

Press release