ExxonMobil begins early production at Papua New Guinea LNG project

ExxonMobil Corp. affiliate ExxonMobil PNG Ltd. reported the early start of LNG production from the $19 billion Papua New Guinea LNG project’s first train. The project, which is expected to produce more than 9 tcf of gas over an estimated 30 years of operations, remains on target to send out its first LNG cargo to Asia before midyear, ExxonMobil said.

Work on the second train is progressing, ExxonMobil said, and LNG production from that unit is expected to start in the next several weeks.

The project is an integrated development that includes gas production and processing facilities in the Southern Highlands, Hela, Western, Gulf, and Central provinces of Papua New Guinea. About 435 miles of pipeline connect the facilities, which include a gas conditioning plant and liquefaction and storage facilities with capacity of 6.9 million tonnes/year of LNG.

“Flooding, minimal preexisting infrastructure, and extremely steep slopes were among obstacles that were overcome in constructing the project,” ExxonMobil said.

ExxonMobil expects Asian LNG demand to rise by 165%—to 370 million tpy—between 2010 and 2025.

In addition to ExxonMobil, coventurers include Oil Search Ltd., National Petroleum Co. of PNG, Santos Ltd., JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp., Mineral Resources Development Co. (representing landowners), and Petromin PNG Holdings Ltd.

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