Santos: PNG LNG shipped 27 cargoes in Q1

The ExxonMobil-operated PNG LNG project in Papua New Guinea shipped 27 cargoes of liquefied natural gas in the first quarter of 2024, down by one cargo compared to the same quarter last year and three cargoes less compared to the prior quarter, according to shareholder Australia’s Santos.

Santos currently has a 42.5 percent stake in the LNG export plant in Caution Bay following the Oil Search merger, an it recently agreed to amend the terms of sale of its 2.6 percent stake in the LNG project to Papua New Guinea’s national oil and gas company Kumul Petroleum.

ExxonMobil holds a 33.2 percent operating interest in PNG LNG which is able to produce more than 8.3 million tonnes of LNG annually, an increase of 20 percent from the original design specification of 6.9 mtpa.

Santos said in its quarterly report on Thursday that “steady” production continued at PNG LNG, supported by “strong” production from Santos-operated fields.

PNG LNG produced about 2 million tonnes in the first quarter, down from 2.11 milion tonnes in the prior quarter and down from 2.13 million tonnes in the same quarter last year.

LNG production was down on the previous quarter due to a combination of Hides field natural decline and annual preventative maintenance undertaken at the central processing facility during the quarter, Santos said.

Santos said there were five spot LNG cargoes sold in PNG in the first quarter of 2024 and three of these were sold under previous arrangements with ExxonMobil.

During the quarter, PNG LNG participants executed new agreements to enable equity lifting commencing in 2024 of which Santos sold two cargoes in revenue for the quarter.

These cargoes utilized the 160,000-cbm LNG carrier, Kool Husky, which is on charter to Santos, it said adding that these volumes enhance Santos LNG marketing capability and are in addition to the foundation long-term contracts, which remain jointly sold.

During the quarter Santos continued portfolio marketing its equity LNG entitlements which is available from PNG LNG, Barossa, and the expansion Papua LNG project, offering a portfolio of “rich LNG” to Asian customers, the firm said.

During the quarter, Santos was also able to successfully conclude the first LNG customer price reviews from its long-term contracts for PNG LNG with the outcome seeing Santos maintain a weighted average LNG price for its oil-indexed contracts above 14 percent slope to oil indexation, it said.


As per the Santos-operated Gladstone LNG export plant on Curtis Island near Gladstone, the facility shipped 27 LNG cargoes during the first quarter, the same as in the first quarter last year and two less compared to the prior quarter.

The 7.8 mtpa facility produced 1.64 million tonnes of LNG during the quarter, up from 1.54 million tonnes in the same quarter last year and down from 1.71 million tonnes in the prior quarter, according to Santos.

Santos said LNG production has been “steady” throughout the quarter, meeting expectations.

Gross GLNG operated upstream gas production increased by 10TJ/day to an average rate of 714TJ/d for the quarter, it said.

Sales revenue down

The independent LNG producer said on Thursday that its January-March sales revenue reached $1.39 billion.

This marks a drop compared to $1.63 billion last year and also compared to $1.48 billion in the prior quarter.

First quarter production of 21.8 mmboe was lower than 22.2 mmboe in the same period last year and also compared to 23.4 mmboe in the prior quarter.

The Australian LNG player said its average realized LNG price of $12.68 per MMBtu in the first quarter rose compared to 12.33 per MMBtu in the prior quarter but it dropped from 14.46 per MMBtu in the same quarter in 2023.

According to Santos, average realized LNG prices were slightly higher than the prior quarter, with higher realized prices from oil-linked sales contracts reflecting lagged Japan Customs-cleared Crude (JCC) prices.

Three-month lagged JCC averaged $92.29/bbl in the first quarter of 2024 compared to $83.08/bbl in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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