No third train for PNG LNG, Oil Search says

Oil Search said Tuesday that the partners in the ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project are no longer working on adding a third train to the country’s sole liquefaction plant in operation.

PNG LNG partners previously aimed to add the train to the 6.5 mtpa plant near Port Moresby together with the liquefaction units planned for Papua LNG. Oil Search holds a 29 percent stake in PNG LNG while Exxonmobil has a 33.2 percent share.

Instead, the partners will now focus on the Total-led two-train Papua LNG project, which recently took a step forward by signing a fiscal stability deal with Papua New Guinea, according to Oil Search.

Total operates the Elk and Antelope onshore fields and is the largest shareholder of the PRL-15 permit with a 31.1% interest, alongside partners ExxonMobil with a 28.3 percent share and Oil Search with a 17.7 percent stake.

The new fiscal stability deal with Papua New Guinea helps in de-risking the proposed 5.4 mtpa Papua LNG project.

In addition to signing the deal, the government offered the Papua LNG JV partners a second five-year extension of its PRL 15 licence to progress the project to the final investment decision.

Oil Search managing director Keiran Wulff said after the firm announced its fourth-quarter results “this is a clear demonstration of the increasing alignment between the PNG Government and the Papua LNG joint venture.”

“It marks a significant milestone for the project as the Papua LNG operator, Total, targets entering the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase in 2022,” he said.

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