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"Papua New Guinea Oil & Gas Report Q1 2014" Published

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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/25/2013 -- The first LNG deliveries from Papua New Guinea's greenfield PNG LNG facility, the country's first gas export project, are expected as scheduled in H2 2014. There continues to new proposals for LNG exports and we could soon see decisions regarding an expansion of export capacity at PNG LNG beyond the first two trains due online next year. Gas projects will also offer some relief to liquids, condensate from the PNG LNG project will give oil production a temporary boost.

The main trends and developments we highlight for Papua New Guinea's oil and gas sector are:

- The most significant development in Papua New Guinea (PNG)'s oil and gas sector was movement on the long-stalled, InterOil-led liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. While it appeared that Royal Dutch Shell, long interested in PNG's upstream, was to partner with InterOil in developing the Elk and Antelope fields, ExxonMobil emerged as the front runner to use the gas resources. It was reported in May that InterOil and partner Pacific LNG entered into exclusive negotiations for the gas resources on PRL 15, though it still remains unclear as to what shape the deal will take. InterOil favours a traditional farm-in agreement while Exxon initially intends solely to directly purchase the gas.
- Options under consideration include using resources on PRL 15 to support development of an expansion at the PNG LNG project or developing a standalone Gulf LNG project as per InterOil's original development concept. We now view the greenfield Gulf LNG project as less likely, but we have priced in additional volumes from a third train at PNG LNG from 2017 as we now view this as the most likely scenario. However, given the lack of certainty, we could again alter our forecast.
- Overall, our view remains largely optimistic on PNG gas sector, which we expect will expand beyond the initial two trains due online from the Exxon-led PNG LNG project in 2014. First gas from the project could treble PNG's exports and boost its GDP by at least 20%.
- Independent of negotiations with InterOil, Exxon and Oil Search continue their appraisal of both the Juha and the P'nyang gas fields. It is hoped that either site or possibly both will contain the resources to support an expansion of capacity at PNG LNG.
- With a weak outlook for liquids production from existing fields, many of which are mature, the long-term outlook for oil production looks poor. Some upside comes from condensate production as part of the PNG LNG project as well as from the Mandana discovery and Stanley condensate project, but falling output elsewhere will make the recovery in volumes only a temporary development.
- We also anticipate a weak oil consumption outlook. Although we anticipate solid economic growth over the coming years, a fall in commodity prices will impact the oil demand from extractive industries.

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