Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/12/2014 -- The first LNG deliveries from Papua New Guinea's ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG facility, the country's first gas export project, are expected as scheduled in H2 2014. There continues to be new proposals for LNG exports, and with Total's deal in PRL 15, Interoil's LNG export plans for the Elk/ Antelope field may finally move forward. Gas projects will also offer some relief to a decline in liquids output, condensate from the PNG LNG project will give oil production a temporary boost.
The main trends and developments we highlight for Papua New Guinea's oil and gas sector are:
- The most significant development in Papua New Guinea (PNG)'s oil and gas sector was movement on the long-stalled, InterOil-led liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. While it appeared that 'exclusive talks' would lead to a deal with ExxonMobil, in December 2013 French major Total farmed-in to the PRL 15 licence containing the Elk/Antelope complex with a 61.3% interest. As a result of the Total deal with InterOil we have altered our forecasts for PNG's gas production. The new agreement has delayed both the expected addition of gas to supply a third train at ExxonMobil's PNG LNG facility and also postponed production from the Elk/Antelope complex until around 2020, by which time a second standalone LNG export terminal could be operational.
- Overall, our view remains largely optimistic on PNG's gas sector, which we expect will expand beyond the initial two trains due online from the Exxon-led PNG LNG project in 2014. First gas from the project could treble PNG's exports and boost its GDP by at least 20%. Due to new LNG export facilities, we anticipate production to grow from 0.1bcm in 2013 to 14.8bcm by 2018.
- The Hides, Angore and Juha fields are due to begin supplying Exxon's PNG LNG project from mid-2014 when the facility is due to come online. We now believe further expansion of this project will be underpinned by resources from the P'nyang field, while more exploration of the Juha North area and to the south of the P'nyang field could also add to output. Due to the work still required to appraise and develop these fields we have tentatively factored in possible production start up for 2017.
- We now expect the Elk/Antelope field not be fully developed until 2020 due to Total's appraisal programme which is due to be completed by 2015, and the decision to move forward with an LNG facility being made after this. The proposed onshore LNG facility would likely take around five years to construct.
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