‘PNG set to become new LNG hub’

National, Normal

PNG is strategically positioned to benefit tremendously from the discoveries of liquefied natural gas as the demand for clean energy increases the world over, according to Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma.
Opening the 2009 annual PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum seminar in Port Moresby yesterday, Mr Duma said not only was PNG perfectly located in the Asia-Pacific region to be a major supplier, it met all the requirements of becoming “a principal supplier”.
“PNG is perfectly located in what I believe will become a new LNG hub, supplying the products to the Asia-Pacific region.
“While the meltdown was happening around the world, our country continued to grow, and we are now at the stage where we are about to enter the biggest and most rapid growth phases that we have ever experienced,” Mr Duma told his international audience.
He also told his audience that recent statistics had revealed that there was a growing demand for LNG throughout Asia and the world, forcing the LNG trade to become more competitive and market driven.
He said a recent estimate calculated that more than US$250 billion of new investment, in all parts of the LNG chain, would be required to meet demand until 2030.
This included more than US$67 billion to be spent during the period 2006-10.
He said it was also widely predicted that global LNG trade would grow by at least 10% to 15% over the next few years.
Mr Duma said in PNG, the ExxonMobil-led PNG proposed facility, which, based on figures recently released, indicated a project value of US$15 billion and was expected to supply first gas in late 2013 or early 2014.
The company is expected to make a financial investment decision on Dec 8 and the project is targeting a 6.6 million metric tonne per annum supply.
This project would be for an initial LNG two-train facility, which may increase to three-train over time.
The second project, he said, was the InterOil joint venture which would operate through Liquid Niugini Gas limited.
Mr Duma said this project was going through a checklist with LNG ironing out the various elements of the contract agreement.
“Nothing would please us more than to see the first LNG project in PNG up and running because these investments transform nations.
“These investments provide opportunities for countries to advance, for living standards to improve and for value to be added to gas resources that, otherwise, would have remained in the ground with little benefit to anyone,” he said.
“Things are becoming very exciting as we move closer and closer towards finalising all things necessary to enable ExxonMobil and its partners to make their final investment decision early December.
“The PNG Government supports this nation-transforming project, and  I remain confident that we will complete this process on time,” Mr Duma said.