Total SA upbeat about Papua LNG

French company Total SA has reiterated its confidence on successfully delivering the next liquefied natural gas project for the country.

Managing director Philippe Blanchard assured the Mining and Petroleum conference in Port Moresby yesterday when highlighting the company’s development in the last year to present.

Total entered PNG in 2014 carrying out exploration activities and was appointed as the operator for Papua LNG early this year.

The company is currently still in the operatorship transition period as per the service agreement with the previous operator InterOil Limited.

According to this agreement, Total has been given the period from August 2015 to the end of December 2015 to put in place its own organisation and fully take over next year, 2016.

Mr Blanchard said the operator is moving positively towards this by already deploying in the country some of its teams like the drilling teams and supply chain teams.

"We have spent some time recruiting PNG nationals to be able to properly engage with the communities, properly telling them what we are able to do and give them some perspective on how things are going to be," he said.

Mr Blanchard explained there were a lot of expectations following the PNG LNG achievement and Total has to manage them and properly inform the communities on the timing and requirements of this project.

He said Papua LNG is transforming several topics in parallel, one of which is governance.

"We have to remind everyone that without the full support of the PNG authority and department, we wouldn’t have progressed as we have, so far.

"We are very happy to see that the Government and provincial government are all behind us and very supportive of our project.

He said that together with joint ventures InterOil and ExxonMobil, they are finalising their findings on defining what is the best organisation or structure to maximise their capabilities to raise funds and secure a good project company.
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