TotalEnergies and its joint venture partners in the Papua LNG project in Papua New Guinea have launched the first phase of front-end engineering and design on the project, focused on the upstream production facilities.

The Papua LNG project is based on the development of the onshore Elk-Antelope gas fields via a large onshore central processing facility, dual 60-kilometre onshore pipelines for gas and condensate, and dual 265-kilometre offshore pipelines to two new LNG trains at Caution Bay near Port Moresby.

The two new LNG trains will be built at the existing PNG LNG facility, and are the responsibility of ExxonMobil, which is the operator of PNG LNG.

In a brief statement today, the French energy giant said studies for the LNG facilities are progressing in line with the overall project schedule, and the aim is to launch "the integrated FEED" in the fourth quarter this year.

The project is targeting a final investment decision around the end of 2023, and a start-up at the end of 2027.

“The commencement of upstream FEED studies is another significant step towards developing the Papua LNG project, which will increase Papua New Guinea’s LNG export capacity and thus contribute to its further development," said Julien Pouget, TotalEnergies' senior vice president Asia Pacific for exploration and production and renewables.

"The Papua LNG project is well positioned to contribute to growth in LNG supply worldwide, especially for customers in Asia seeking to decarbonize from coal to gas, in line with our strategy to lower global greenhouse gas emissions.”

In a fresh development, the French operator said the Papua LNG project will incorporate a carbon capture and storage scheme for the fields' native carbon dioxide, which will be reinjected into the field reservoirs instead of being vented.

It is understood Papua LNG has 5.8% carbon dioxide in its gas stream and between 150 and 180 parts per milion of hydrogen sulphide.

TotalEnergies had not responded to Upstream’s request for comment on the FEED and CCS workscopes by the time of publishing.

The co-owners of Papua LNG are operator TotalEnergies on 40.1%, ExxonMobil on 36.5%, Santos on 22.8% and minority parties on 0.6%. The national oil company Kumul Petroleum has a back-in right to a 22.5% interest.

The Elk-Antelope fields contain about 6.5 trillion cubic feet of gas and 57 million barrels of condensate on a gross best estimate contingent basis, according to Oil Search, which was acquired by Santos.


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