Papua LNG decision soon, says PNG Petroleum Minister Kua

 AN announcement will be made next month whether the Papua LNG will be a stand-alone project towards design phase next year, Papua New Guinea Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua says.

In response to questions on the status of the projects, Kua told The National that Total senior management and a Government delegation would be meeting next Thursday (Dec 10).

“If the decision is made, it will be positive for PNG because we will begin to see some early work going on,” Kua said.

“There will be cash flow for the country and it could have an impact in the gross domestic product for us.

“It’s a positive thing to look forward to so we will wait for the decision on Dec 10 or 11.

“We will make the announcement on whether we will delink Papua and P’nyang and make them separate stand-alone projects.”

The minister explained that this was the status of P’nyang and there was a lot of time to negotiate.

“The fact that we delink the two projects, it will not disadvantage P’nyang because whether you link it or delink it, the constructions phase of P’nyang is still four to five years away down the track,” he said.

“We have all the lead time here to negotiate a good contract, no need to rush because we don’t need a gas agreement for P’nyang for another four to five years yet.

“The construction for Papua has to start and complete before P’nyang connects so we still have a lot of time.” Kua said discussions with Exxon indicated there was opportunity for negotiations and there might be some good deals.

“There is still some promise there so we will continue to work on that,” he said.

Kua said Pasca was only the small project with less volume of gas and oil which was 100km south of Kerema town.

He said the estimated cost for construction is about K6.9 billion (US$2 billion) on a scale of PNG LNG which is K65bil (US$19bil) and Papua LNG which is K34.5bil (US$10bil). That’s quite small.

“In PNG US$2bil (K6.9bil) is a lot of money and negotiation is at a very advanced stage.

“We will announce a gas agreement as soon as we can.

“Our concentration on the negotiations has been compromised by the disturbance of politics but was are monitoring it.”

Kua dismissed claims that investors were leaving, adding that it was the state’s desire to reform legislation.


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