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Pipelay begins on Papua New Guinea LNG project

The initial lengths of the 450-km offshore portion of the planned 700-km natural gas pipeline for ExxonMobil Corp.’s $15 billion Papua New Guinea LNG project have started being laid on the seabed.

The pipe laying has begun near the LNG plant, which is under construction 20 km northwest of Port Moresby.

Two offshore pipelay vessels, Semac 1 and Castoro 10, are scheduled to work on the job for the remainder of this year and through 2012.

The first part of the job was the shore pull, which involved pulling the 36-in. pipe to shore to enable a connection with the land pipe section.

The pipeline will transport gas from the southern highlands and Western Provinces fields to the proposed two-train, 6.6 million tonne/year LNG plant.

LNG is scheduled to come on stream in 2014 and will deliver in excess of 9 tcf of gas during its 30-year life.

ExxonMobil is operator of the project with 33.2%. Oil Search has 29%, Independent Public Business Corp. (Papua New Guinea government) 16.6%, Santos 13.5%, Nippon Oil 4.7%, state-owned Minerals Resource Development Co. 2.8%, and Petromin 0.2%.

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