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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 12) - Santos Ltd has joined an ExxonMobil-led consortium looking to exploit vast gas resources in Papua New Guinea through a proposed AU$8 billion [US$6.6 billion] liquefied natural gas development.

[PIR editor’s note: According to their company website, Santos Ltd. is a major Australian oil and gas exploration and production company with interests and operations in every major Australian petroleum province and in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, India, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt and the United States. The company is Australia's largest domestic gas producer.]

Oil producer Santos will work with ExxonMobil, Oil Search Ltd and Nippon Oil to jointly progress a detailed study of a stand-alone liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea.

The consortium is investigating the viability of a stand-alone liquefied natural gas operation after shelving its troubled AU$8 billion Papua New Guinea-to-Australia gas pipeline project in February.

Santos managing director John Ellice-Flint said yesterday the decision to join the consortium would give the company more exposure to the expanding liquefied natural gas market.

"Santos is committed to working with the Papua New Guinea Government, ExxonMobil and the other project partners to progress liquefied natural gas development options in a timely manner. In this way, we are looking at maximizing the value of the large contingent of gas resources in Papua New Guinea," he said.

The consortium is expected to spend about US$60 million (AU$72.7 million), evaluating the merits of a five million to 6.5 million ton per annum liquefied natural gas facility. The facility could cost up to US$7 billion to develop.

Santos said the Hides gas and condensate field was expected to underpin the gas volumes required, with additional gas potentially sourced from the nearby Juha and Angore fields.


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