Total and its partners ExxonMobil and Oil Search signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Independent State of Papua New Guinea defining the key terms of a gas agreement for the Papua LNG project, Total announced Friday.
The project will encompass two LNG trains of 2.7 million tons per year each, according to a statement from the energy giant. The project will be developed alongside the existing PNG LNG project facilities, and Total and its partners will launch the project's first-phase engineering studies.
The MoU was signed during the Asia Pacific Economic Conference in capital Port Moresby, in the presence of Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, and Total Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Pouyanne described the MoU as an important step in all parties' commitment to the project.
"Investing in LNG is a long term enterprise and our objective is to be able to make the project as competitive as possible. Total being the second-largest world private LNG player, we are fully committed to the success of the Papua LNG project, which benefits from a favorable geographical location close to Asian markets," he said.
According to the press release, Total operates the Elk and Antelope onshore fields in Papua New Guinea that will feed the Papua LNG project and is the largest shareholder of the Petroleum Retention License (PRL)-15 with a 31.1 percent interest, alongside partners ExxonMobil (28.3 percent) and Oil Search (17.7 percent), post the State back-in right of 22.5 percent.
Finalization of the proposed gas agreement is expected by the first quarter of 2019.
By Hale Turkes