Supermajors to talk turkey in PNG

Proximity: the Elk-Antelope fields are near to the PNG LNG facility

Discussions between ExxonMobil and Total and the Papua New Guinea government over a "co-operative development agenda" for the next LNG development phase are planned to begin before the year is over.

Joint venture partner to both supermajors Oil Search said today that once ExxonMobil’s entry into the PRL 15 joint venture has been confirmed via the completion of its takeover of InterOil, then "we anticipate that talks will commence with Total about possible co-operation and integration of the next phase of LNG development".

The PRL 15 permit contains the large undeveloped Elk-Antelope gas resource, currently owned by Total, Oil Search and InterOil, and associated with the greenfield Papua LNG project.

ExxonMobil's nearly-completed acquisition of InterOil implies that Elk-Antelope could support at least two new trains at the ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG facility, a notion that all parties have expressed an interest in due to the economic benefits.

Oil Search chief executive Peter Botten said: "PNG’s LNG development opportunities are already in the lowest-cost quartile globally, with integration savings making LNG expansion even more competitive."

"Various commercial models can be applied to deliver project integration. Studying the various options, their relative values and how the significantly increased overall value is shared equitably between the P’nyang, Elk-Antelope and PNG LNG owners is a core component of Oil Search’s Strategy Refresh. Preliminary indications from this work suggest that unitisation in some form is an optimal development solution," added Botten.

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