ExxonMobil, Papua New Guinea ink P’nyang gas deals

The Papua New Guinea government and US energy giant ExxonMobil have reportedly signed two non-binding deals on the stalled P’nyang natural gas project which would feed the PNG LNG plant.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape, accompanied by Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua, and others, met with the ExxonMobil upstream president Liam Mallon in Houston and other senior executives, according to several local media reports.

ExxonMobil and PNG signed heads of agreement on P’nyang gas agreement along with an equity purchase in the project for the country, the reports said.

The gas agreement captures key fiscal, regulatory and licensing terms negotiated over last two months while the equity HOA provides for the state to acquire at cost 10% additional equity from ExxonMobil in the P’nyang project.

Also, the two sides would continue discussions in the coming months to draft a more detailed gas agreement and the equity agreement, the reports said.

The new deals come after the parties agreed to sign a deal on the stalled project in August.

Previously, they failed to reach an agreement on the development, the PNG government said in a statement in January 2020.

ExxonMobil-operated P’nyang gas field, licensed under PRL 3, is located in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea.

The US giant and partner Oil Search had planned to develop the field to feed the third PNG LNG train. However, they have in the meantime decided not to proceed with the additional unit as the partners plan to focus on the TotalEnergies-led two-train Papua LNG project.

Gas from the P’nyang gas field would feed the existing two trains at the 6.5 mtpa PNG LNG plant near Port Moresby.

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