PNG Government hastens LNG project

THE National Government will be meeting with InterOil and Total SA to set a time-line in fast tracking the LNG project in Gulf Province.

Minister for Petroleum and Energy William Duma said yesterday that the ELK-Antelope project has been delayed for more than four years and since InterOil has selected an operator in Total SA, the Government expects the project developed quickly.

"Now that they have selected an operator, Total SA of France, we expect InterOil and Total to develop and commercial the gas resource reserves we have quickly."

"We have seen this project delayed for more than  four years since we signed the gas agreement in 2009. We expect Interoil and Total to fast track this project."

Mr Duma said the country will see three gas projects come on-stream by the end of the year with ExxonMobil LNG project to export the first gas by July/August.

"We also have another smaller gas project, Stanley gas project being developed by Horizon Oil in Western Province and the Elk Antelope project in Gulf Province.

"I will be opening the development forum on January 20 and we expect cabinet to approve the gas agreement, one in Gulf and Western provinces."

"Before the end of this year we will have three LNG projects, first the ExxonMobil, InterOil and Stanley project."

"We will be meeting them this month and we will be giving them some timelines, they have gone into this arrangement with Total and that was done before Christmas and we have asked them to meeting to move the project forward."

Mr Duma said that the Government is looking at two years at the most to have the project developed.

"Most of the work has been done and all they have to do is to review it and revise their program."

In the petroleum sector, Mr Duma said there have been some new discoveries of oil in the Gulf Province and InterOil are doing more appraisal drilling to ascertain the exact size of the resource whether its is big enough to warrant development.

"The Department of Petroleum and Energy is doing its bit and we expect other economic ministers and departments to do likewise to expand the revenue base of this country." Mr Duma said.

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