Exxon Mobil Corporation shipped the first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the $19 billion PNG LNG project ahead of schedule.
PNG LNG, operated by ExxonMobil affiliate ExxonMobil PNG Limited, is expected to produce more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas over its estimated 30 years of operations. The first cargo is bound for LNG customer Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. (TEPCO) in Japan.
Production from the first train started in April and production from the second train has also started as additional wells came online.
“The PNG LNG project exemplifies ExxonMobil’s leadership in project execution, advanced technologies and marketing capabilities,” said Neil W. Duffin, president of ExxonMobil Development Company. “Our demonstrated expertise will enable us to progress other LNG opportunities in our portfolio, including expansion opportunities in Papua New Guinea and to meet growing global demand. Disciplined project execution has enabled us to supply Asia’s increasing energy needs and will benefit the people of Papua New Guinea for decades.”
Construction of PNG LNG began in 2010, and took more than 190 million work hours to complete. At its peak, the project employed more than 21,000 people.
Flooding, minimal pre-existing infrastructure and extremely steep slopes were among obstacles that were overcome in constructing the project. Pipe had to be airlifted in some areas because the soil could not support heavy machinery and lack of infrastructure required construction of supplemental roads, communication lines and a new airfield.
“This project has brought significant economic benefits to our country that will last for generations to come,” said Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill.
“Not only will the people of Papua New Guinea now benefit, their children and grandchildren will continue to enjoy the benefits and positive effects from this valuable resource development for many years to come,” O’Neill said.
The PNG LNG project is an integrated development that includes gas production and processing facilities in the Southern Highlands, Hela, Western, Gulf and Central provinces of Papua New Guinea. Approximately 435 miles of pipeline connect the facilities, which include a gas conditioning plant and liquefaction and storage facilities with capacity of 6.9 million tonnes of LNG per year.
The four major customers for the project’s output are China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. (TEPCO), Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., and CPC Corp. Taiwan.
In addition to ExxonMobil PNG Limited, co-venturers are Oil Search Limited, National Petroleum Company of PNG, Santos Ltd., JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp., Mineral Resources Development Company (representing landowners) and Petromin PNG Holdings Limited. ExxonMobil continues to assess and advance new expansion and development opportunities in Papua New Guinea.