Tangguh LNG project partners ponder additional trains

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 26 -- BP PLC subsidiary BP Berau Ltd., operator of the Tangguh LNG project, is considering construction of as many as eight additional LNG trains at the company's existing site in Papua.

The company has set up a special team to study the possibility of new trains at the existing plant. Two other LNG trains are nearing completion.

"We are concentrating on getting these [two trains] finished. We are also looking at further development and opportunities for building more trains," said David Clarkson, the project's executive vice-president.

BP began construction of the two trains in March 2005, with the first due to go online in January 2009 and the second in May 2009. The project is said to be 82% complete as of September.

Tangguh will sell LNG to four overseas buyers—China's Fujian (2.6 million tonnes/year), South Korean K-Power and Posco (1.11 million tpy each), and Sempra Energy (3.6 million tpy).

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said he would like BP to sell LNG from the trains under consideration as several domestic firms, including state-owned Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) and Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN), have shown interest in buying gas from Tangguh.

Kanematsu Corp. earlier announced plans to sell its 3.93% stake in the Tangguh LNG project in Indonesia to Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Corp., Nippon Oil, and Inpex Holdings for 15 billion yen (OGJ Online, Oct. 2, 2007).

The share transfers, which were due for completion on Oct. 22, will see Nippon Oil raise its stake in the project to 13.45% from 12.23%. Mitsui and Mitsubishi will respectively increase their shares to 9.92% from 9.13% and INPEX will increase its stake to 7.79% from 7.17%.

Meanwhile, according to the most recent statement, BP has a 37.16% interest in Tangguh. Its partners include CNOOC Muturi Ltd. and CNOOC Wiriagar Overseas Ltd., 16.96%; MI Berau BV (held by Mitsubishi and Inpex), 16.3%; Nippon Oil Exploration (Berau) Ltd. (held by Nippon Oil Exploration Ltd. and Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp.), 12.23%; KG Berau/KG Wiriagar (held by Kanematsu, Overseas Petroleum Corp., a subsidiary of Mitsui and JOGMNC) 10%; and LNG Japan Corp. (equally owned by Sumitomo Corp. and Sojitz Corp.), 7.35%.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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