Ongoing discussions between the three parties stem from an indicative terms agreement signed in 2004, in which the companies agreed to the commercial principles for the sale of 86 petajoules of gas.
Oil Search has been in talks with the two companies over the past two and half years and now says it expects a more binding sales agreement to be signed in the second half of this year.
The plant will source natural gas from Oil Search’s portfolio of gas resources in PNG, with the plant capable of co-producing methanol and dimethyl ether.
“We are also pleased to see such a high level delegation visit the potential petrochemical plant sites and to see firsthand how Oil Search operates in PNG. The delegation visited our field operations to see how we successfully operate in geographically challenging conditions,” PNG general manager Gerea Aopi said.
“Oil Search sees the potential petrochemical plant as a cornerstone for in-country development and this visit has been the outworking of Oil Search’s in-country development strategy.’’
Oil Search also expects to hand down a project sanction decision on the massive $US2.5 billion ($A3.2 billion) PNG Gas project in the second half of the year.