PNG LNG ramping up

WORK on the ExxonMobil-operated PNG LNG liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea will ramp up this year as it moves into the second year of its four-year construction program.
PNG LNG ramping up PNG LNG ramping up PNG LNG ramping up PNG LNG ramping up PNG LNG ramping up

Major partner Oil Search said in its outlook for 2011 that key activities to be carried out at the project include procurement, earthworks, foundation and the start of structural steelwork for the LNG plant.

Work on the pipe racks, jetty works and tank foundations will also begin this year.

The joint venture will continue to procure, mobilise and lay line pipe for both the offshore and onshore portions of the pipeline from the fields to the LNG plant near Port Moresby.

Equipment for the associated gas and PL 2 life extension will also be mobilised along with completion of control room construction and the start of construction work at the Kutubu central processing facility and the Gobe gas processing facility.

Mobilisation of barge for offshore work will also be carried out this year along with preparatory platform work, deck modifications and crane installation while the JV will continue to carry out earthworks and foundations as well as start construction activity for the Hides gas conditioning plant and Komo airfield.

Meanwhile, Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said the company would turn the focus of its PNG exploration work to prove up further gas resources to underpin development of a third LNG train.

"Subject to the positive conclusion of technical evaluation, the Huria exploration well is expected to commence drilling in late 2011, while the appraisal of the Hides field is targeted to commence at the same time," he said.

"Planning is underway to drill the P'nyang well in early 2012 and a multi-well offshore PNG program."

He added full-year production for 2011 is expected to be between 6.2-6.7 million barrels of oil equivalent, down from the 7.66MMboe it produced in 2010.

This reflects a planned shut-in of facilities in the second and fourth quarters to enable PNG LNG-related work to be carried out.

Botten touched on some of the challenges faced by the JV over the year, and said these included initial infrastructure-capacity constraints that have since been largely resolved, and ensuring the effective and efficient mobilisation of project labour into PNG.

The recent appointment of deputy prime Minister Samuel Abal as the PNG government's focal point for settling all outstanding issues related to the project represented a major step forward to resolving landowner-related issues, he added.

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