The global markets are in turmoil and oil prices have collapsed but Oil Search remains up beat about securing finance and finding buyers for its $15 billion liquefied natural gas project - PNG’s largest ever resource development. It is planned to ship the first cargo in 2013.
Oil Search says it has “considerable interest” from lenders to acquire its 34% per cent share. Managing director, Peter Botten, said interest from prospective buyers was strong despite the near halving in oil prices from their peaks. Global oil giant ExxonMobil's41.5% involvement in the project has bolstered market confidence.
The LNG project is a joint venture between ExxonMobil, Oil Search, Nippon Oil, Santos, AGL and MRDC (a PNG company representing landowner interests). The Project will commercialise petroleum resources in the Hides, Angore and Juha fields the currently operating oil fields of Kutubu, Agogo, Gobe and Moran in the Southern Highlands and Western Provinces.
The gas will be transported by pipeline to a facility 20 kilometres northwest of Port Moresby. There, the gas will be liquefied and the LNG (approximately 6.3 million tonnes per annum) loaded on tankers and shipped to gas markets.
Sources:  Oil Search confident of funding for $15b LNG plan by Clancy Yeates, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 October 2008.  ‘Trio to develop Papua New Guinea LNG project’ by InterOil Corp, DownsteramToday.com, 1 August 2007.