We'll help InterOil move faster: O'Neill

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill reportedly called the InterOil-led Gulf LNG project a “promising prospect” in his state of the nation address in parliament this week. He wants the project’s development plans finalised by year-end.
We'll help InterOil move faster: O'Neill We'll help InterOil move faster: O'Neill We'll help InterOil move faster: O'Neill We'll help InterOil move faster: O'Neill We'll help InterOil move faster: O'Neill

"Our government will assist InterOil to move faster on its LNG development timelines," O'Neill said according to the Post-Courier.

"We will conclude the development arrangements before this year ends."

The big questions facing Gulf LNG include which government-acceptable, world-class LNG operator will lead the project and what production scope will the project have.

Under the late 2009 agreement with the PNG government, the project was based on bringing in a world-recognised LNG operator to commercialise InterOil's Elk-Antelope discoveries in Gulf province through a 7.6-10 million tonnes per annum LNG plant near Port Moresby.

As of last year InterOil was instead targeting 5Mtpa in 2014, with 3Mtpa from an Energy World Corporation-designed onshore modular LNG plant in Gulf province and the rest from a floating LNG facility, along with potential ramp-up plans to hit up to 8Mtpa.

In any event, O'Neill is treating the project with the same regard held for the PNG LNG project which is on schedule for first exports in 2014.

"InterOil Corporation's Gulf LNG project is a promising prospect and together with the PNG LNG project, the two LNG projects will underpin substantial revenue inflows into the nation's coffers for many years when they are fully operational," O'Neill reportedly said.

The PM also reportedly said PNG was in the box seat for exporting minerals and LNG to emerging giants like India, China, Japan and South Korea.

Out of InterOil's ongoing hunt for a suitable Gulf LNG project operator which started 11 months ago, a consortium of Korea Gas Corporation, Japan Petroleum Exploration and InterOil's condensate stripping plant partner Mitsui has been the only bidder fully confirmed so far.

This confirmation has come from O'Neill to the local media, from InterOil management and from a Korean government official.

An industry source recently told PNGIndustryNews.net that O'Neill wanted the project outcome in time to announce it for the 12th PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference which will be held in Sydney during early December.

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