MP hopes gas project will help locals

WESTERN Governor Taboi Awi Yoto has said the Fly River government wanted its people to benefit from the P’nyang gas field which it hopes remains a standalone project and not part of the existing LNG project.

The P’nyang field is located within petroleum retention license 3, which covers 105,000 acres (425sqkm).

ExxonMobil affiliates operate the license with a 49 per cent interest in the block.

Affiliates of Oil Search have a 38.5 per cent interest and JX Nippon has 12.5 per cent interest.

ExxonMobil last month reported an increase in the size of the natural gas resource at the P’nyang field to 4.36 trillion cubic feet of gas, an 84 per cent increase from a previous assessment completed in 2012.

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

According to ExxonMobil, the result supported its discussions with its joint venture partners on a three-train expansion concept for the PNG LNG plant near Port Moresby, with 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.

Liam Mallon, ExxonMobil Development Company president, in a statement, said: “We are working closely with our joint venture partners and the government to progress the P’nyang field development proposal and secure the licenses needed to develop this world-class resource.”

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

“This investment would extend our gas pipeline infrastructure into Western and have a meaningful and lasting economic impact for PNG and its people,” Mallon said.

However, Yoto was adamant in the gas field being developed into a standalone project.

“The Fly River government has the capability and the capacity to undertake challenges to ensure that the P’nyang gas project is developed in the province,” he said.

“My government, as the host province to more than 20 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas deposits, currently featuring the 4.6TCF in P’nyang gas field, are prepared to host the next LNG in the province.” Yoto said the country has learnt from its past mistakes with the PNG LNG.

Last month, Petroleum Minister Dr Fabian Pok clarified that the P’nyang LNG project would be a standalone project.

He said the statement by ExxonMobil was based on their investment interest and not on project operations in terms of having P’nyang connected to other gas fields in Western.

“The Government stand has been clear from the beginning and we have always maintained that P’nyang will be a standalone project.”

Source: The National PNG

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