"We declare our first goal to be for every person to be dynamically involved in the process of freeing himself or herself from every form of domination or oppression so that each man or woman will have the opportunity to develop as a whole person in relationship with others".


- Papua New Guinea National Goals and Directive Principles




Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Protesting PNG landowners close to turning off tap for LNG Project

12:35 pm on 12 August 2016
RNZI / Johnny Blades

A government delegation is due in Papua New Guinea's Hela province today to respond to disgruntled Highlands landowners threatening a shutdown of the country's major LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) project.
The project's gas conditioning plant in the hides area of this highlands province remains locked by landowners protesting that the government owes five years worth of project commitments worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The project developer ExxonMobil said its facilities were continuing to operate and that it was monitoring the peaceful protest in Hela.
A deployment of extra police to Hela from the capital in recent days is a sign that the government is concerned about the landowner threat.
However, the government's initial response to the current protest did not satisfy the landowners.
Stanley Mamu from LNG Watch said a government delegation made a brief trip to Hela on Wednesday to talk with the landowners, and are expected back in Hela today with an ultimate response to their grievances.

"If the government cannot satisfy their petition, they will forcefully go inside and close down wellheads B, C and D... it's the well tap that supplies the gas."
Overnight, it emerged that more landowner groups from LNG Project areas in neighbouring Southern Highlands province have joined the Hela landowners in their protest.
Moran and Gobe landowners have also launched their own conditional demand for the government to make outstanding payments of royalties they claim are owed to them.
They have signed a demand paper giving a 21 day-ultimatum as of 10th August for the government to honour its outstanding commitments of around 14 million US dollars.
It's not the first time that landowners in this Highlands region have obstructed the project over their grievances over commitments or royalties owed however, this time the landowners appear less willing to accept the government response.
250 LNG shipments have reportedly been made since the project started exports two years ago, but landowners in four petroleum development license areas of Hela say they are yet to be paid as the founding project agreement.
"This sort of gate closure, we've never experienced that, from the beginning (of the LNG Project) until now," said Stanley Mamu.
He said the proliferation of firearms among some Hela landowners was a concern, especially with PNG security forces looming as a response to the Hides protest.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Petroleum and Energy Nixon Duban said delays in payments to the landowners in the Hela LNG area were due to complications over identifying genuine landowners.
He said paying royalties to the wrong people would have consequences which the government wanted to avoid.
In parliament yesterday, the prime minister Peter O'Neill said that all outstanding payments will be made to the landowners, but didn't give a time frame.
Exxon meanwhile said it respected the right of individuals to peacefully protest, but also encouraged "continued dialogue between landowners and the government to resolve their outstanding issues promptly".

Landowner blockade still in force at PNG LNG project

12:55 pm on 15 August 2016 


Reports from Papua New Guinea's Hela province say landowners continue to block access to a key site in the ExxonMobil-operated LNG gas project.
The project's gas conditioning plant at Hides remains locked by landowners protesting that the government owes five years of outstanding project commitments worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
They had threatened to shut down the entire LNG project this month if government didn't respond adequately with payments.
Speaking in parliament last week, the prime minister Peter O'Neill said all outstanding payments would be made in due course, while a government delegation travelled to Hela last Wednesday for discussions with the landowners.
This delegation, including members of the state-owned Mineral Resources Development Company, sought to assure landowners that payments will be made, pending the outcome of ongoing clan vetting processes to establish the legitimate landowners.
Furthermore, landowner representatives met with the MRDC in Port Moresby at the weekend to discuss the petition outlining their grievances.
However landowners indicated the government response was unsatisfactory and they are expecting to receive another government delegation today or tomorrow for further talks.
The project developer ExxonMobil said last week its facilities were continuing to operate and that it was monitoring "the peaceful protest in Hela".
However, reports from Port Moresby suggest the latest export shipment from the LNG Project had only half as much gas as usual, due to obstruction in the flow of LNG because of the Hela landowners' actions.
Meanwhile, landowners from LNG Project areas in neighbouring Southern Highlands province have indicated they wish to join the Hela landowners' protest as they too claim to be owed significant amounts of benefits.
An extra contingent of PNG police was deployed to Hela last week amid fears that landowner grievances could spill over into violence.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

UBS Cuts Price Target on ExxonMobil (XOM) to $86; Remains Neutral

UBS maintained a Neutral rating on ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), and cut the price target to $86.00 (from $90.00), following the company's 2Q earnings report and conference call.
Analyst William Featherston commented, "1) reiterated 2016 capex guidance of $23.2bn (down 25% YoY) but inferred spending would likely come in below budget due to market savings, efficiency gains, & commencing projects on time & on budget; 2) made no change to its 2016 production growth range of ~4.0-4.2 MMBoed (flat YoY); 3) initial seismic images of Skipjack point to comparable resource potential as its Liza discovery (0.8-1.4 BBoe) offshore Guyana; 4) noted there is a "strong case" that the gas from the recent InterOil acquisition in Papua New Guinea will ultimately go to its existing facility at PNG LNG (rather than a separate LNG project); & 5) we lowered 2016-17E EPS from $2.79/$3.77 to $2.38/$3.59 on lower Upstream earnings for 2016 & Downstream earnings for 2017."

Thursday, 28 July 2016













Oil Search said in a statement it’s talking with Total about its options and that it’s entitled to a $60 million break-up fee, with 20 percent going to Total, if the deal doesn’t go through after InterOil changed its recommendation.

“InterOil has advised that it intends to make a change in its recommendation and enter into an Arrangement Agreement with ExxonMobil,” Oil Search said in a statement.
Exxon is targeting gas fields that hold enough reserves to supply the U.K. for three years. The company already operates the existing $19 billion PNG LNG gas-liquefaction plant in Papua New Guinea. InterOil and its partners have planned the nation’s second export project, Papua LNG. Oil Search is a shareholder in both ventures and has encouraged a tie-up to lower development costs.

Lower Cost

“ExxonMobil has submitted an offer to acquire InterOil Corporation, which we believe represents a superior proposal,” Exxon said in a statement.
Oil Search rose as much as 4.2% to A$7.27 in Sydney before trading at A$7.22 at 3:43 p.m. local time.
Papua New Guinea has lower costs than rival LNG sources, making it a more-attractive place to invest in an oversupplied market for the seaborne fuel. A deal for InterOil could speed up a boom in fuel sales from the nation, which began exporting LNG in 2014.
InterOil’s gas fields are closer to the coastal site of its proposed LNG plant and the pipeline that would feed it cuts through a less densely populated region than Exxon’s, which pipes its supply down from the country’s highlands, according to a presentation published on InterOil’s website.

Project Partners

“PNG’s lower costs are largely driven by the downstream. The cost of constructing the LNG facility is lower because labor is cheaper and site preparation is easier,” Matt Howell, a Perth, Australia-based research analyst for energy consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd., said by e-mail. “In the case of Elk-Antelope, the fields are also nearer to the LNG facilities and the conditions in that area are a lot kinder, which lowers midstream and upstream costs.”
Oil Search is already a partner in both Exxon’s PNG LNG venture as well as Papua LNG. The Oil Search deal may save the country’s two projects as much as $3 billion and speed up development if they cooperate, according to Managing Director Peter Botten. After buying InterOil, Oil Search planned to sell 60 percent of the assets to Total.

InterOil’s appraisal of the fields found 10.2 trillion cubic feet of likely reserves at the end of 2015. Oil Search released results Friday of a separate analysis of those fields that estimated likely reserves at 6.4 trillion cubic feet. Oil Search said it would do a different analysis if it were to purchase InterOil that would include gas condensate volumes and another appraisal well that could unlock an additional 1 trillion to 2 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Exxon has pursued InterOil’s assets in the past. In May 2013, the energy explorer entered into exclusive talks to acquire a stake in InterOil’s Papua New Guinea discoveries, estimated at the time to hold the equivalent of 9 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. The talks collapsed later that year for undisclosed reasons.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

French Total to challenge ExxonMobil in LNG development

Reported by: `Customs Today Report March 10, 2015 PARIS: Total will join existing LNG operator ExxonMobil as a leader of LNG development in PNG, which started exporting gas last year from Exxon’s $US19 billion ($24.3 billion) project. Total SA has been appointed to run the Papua New Guinea Elk-Antelope gas venture, setting the French oil major up as a direct rival to US giant ExxonMobil. The move, which follows the resolution last month of a dispute over Total’s entry into Elk-Antelope, is expected to accelerate development toward a new LNG export project in Papua New Guinea, separate from Exxon’s $US19 billion ($24.3 billion) PNG LNG venture, which started export shipments last May. Oil Search, which owns stakes in both PNG and Elk-Antelope, had disputed the right of its Elk-Antelope partner InterOil to bring Total into the PRL 15 permit holding the gas fields, which some say could be the biggest gas discovery in Asia in the past decade. However, after losing the arbitration in February, Oil Search pledged not to appeal and to work toward the smooth development of Elk-Antelope, one of the few potential LNG projects in the Australian region expected to be economic even at current low oil prices. Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said on Monday the election of Total, an experienced LNG operator, to run the PRL15 venture “will help facilitate the completion of appraisal and the timely development of the world-class Elk-Antelope fields.” Bernstein Research analyst Neil Beveridge said that with Total in charge, Elk-Antelope was more likely to move forward “in a timely and efficient way”, which was positive for both InterOil and Oil Search. Oil Search shares still slid 0.5 per cent to $8.12. Still to be sorted is whether Elk-Antelope will be developed as a totally separate project from PNG LNG, as a separate project but on the same plant site, or as an expansion of the Exxon-led venture. Mr Beveridge said he now expected Total and its partners to push for the development of a stand-alone two-train LNG project separate from PNG LNG. “With Total now appointed as operator, there is now an experienced LNG company with the experience to lead the partnership towards a development decision in 2018,” he said, adding that the venture would gain credibility in the eyes of government, financiers and customers. PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had made it clear the government wanted to see Total take the helm at Elk-Antelope, providing a counter-weight to the dominance of Exxon in the nation’s fast-growing LNG sector.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

France’s Total to lead new LNG project in PNG

in General Energy News 03/03/2015 Total will join existing LNG operator ExxonMobil as a leader of LNG development in PNG, which started exporting gas last year from Exxon’s $US19 billion ($24.3 billion) project. Total will join existing LNG operator ExxonMobil as a leader of LNG development in PNG, which started exporting gas last year from Exxon’s $US19 billion ($24.3 billion) project. Photo: Michele Mossop Total SA has been appointed to run the Papua New Guinea Elk-Antelope gas venture, setting the French oil major up as a direct rival to US giant ExxonMobil. The move, which follows the resolution last month of a dispute over Total’s entry into Elk-Antelope, is expected to accelerate development toward a new LNG export project in Papua New Guinea, separate from Exxon’s $US19 billion ($24.3 billion) PNG LNG venture, which started export shipments last May. Oil Search, which owns stakes in both PNG and Elk-Antelope, had disputed the right of its Elk-Antelope partner InterOil to bring Total into the PRL 15 permit holding the gas fields, which some say could be the biggest gas discovery in Asia in the past decade. However, after losing the arbitration in February, Oil Search pledged not to appeal and to work toward the smooth development of Elk-Antelope, one of the few potential LNG projects in the Australian region expected to be economic even at current low oil prices. Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said on Monday the election of Total, an experienced LNG operator, to run the PRL15 venture “will help facilitate the completion of appraisal and the timely development of the world-class Elk-Antelope fields.” Bernstein Research analyst Neil Beveridge said that with Total in charge, Elk-Antelope was more likely to move forward “in a timely and efficient way”, which was positive for both InterOil and Oil Search. Oil Search shares still slid 0.5 per cent to $8.12. Still to be sorted is whether Elk-Antelope will be developed as a totally separate project from PNG LNG, as a separate project but on the same plant site, or as an expansion of the Exxon-led venture. Mr Beveridge said he now expected Total and its partners to push for the development of a stand-alone two-train LNG project separate from PNG LNG. “With Total now appointed as operator, there is now an experienced LNG company with the experience to lead the partnership towards a development decision in 2018,” he said, adding that the venture would gain credibility in the eyes of government, financiers and customers. PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had made it clear the government wanted to see Total take the helm at Elk-Antelope, providing a counter-weight to the dominance of Exxon in the nation’s fast-growing LNG sector. The partners are still drilling at Elk-Antelope to determine how much gas is in the fields, with reserves expected to be certified by the end of the year. Mr Beveridge said that a two-train LNG project would need 7 trillion to 8 trillion cubic feet of “2C” resources. The current resource estimate at the fields is put at 9.1 trillion cubic feet by InterOil and 5.3 tcf by Oil Search. However, early results from two appraisal wells being drilled at the field, Antelope-4 and Antelope-5, have raised optimism the resource could be larger. A separate prospect to the south of the main field, Antelope Deep, will be drilled later this year and could add to the resource estimate. “With PNG one of the most competitive regions for LNG (in term of cost) we believe that the probability of monetisation is high pending confirmation of gas reserves,” Mr Beveridge said. Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Oil Search gets $US807m PNG LNG payment

The PNG LNG Project has reached financial completion, unlocking a windfall of $US807 million ($A1.036 billion) for ASX-listed joint venture partner Oil Search. Oil Search said the first distribution to JV partners would see it receive a a payment of $US700m, which represented its share of cash flow, net of operating costs and the funding of debt service reserve accounts, generated by the Project since it came on-stream in the first half of 2014. A further $US107m payment from cash currently held in escrow by Oil Search to support its lender obligations during the construction phase of the PNG LNG project will also be released and flow back to Oil Search. The PNG LNG Project is a gas-export joint venture between Oil Search and Exxon Mobil Corp based in Papua New Guinea. Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said the cash will help the company's growth activities, "in particular, LNG expansion and development, which remains attractive based on the current oil price outlook." "Reaching financial completion is a major milestone for the Project, which has now been operating very reliably, and at levels above expectations, for more than eight months," Mr Botten said. The company has said previously it would consider boosting dividend payments to shareholders once the cash starts rolling in. But like many rivals grappling with tumbling oil prices, it faces a tricky decision determining how much cash to conserve for growth projects and how much to return to shareholders. The PNG LNG project shipped its first cargo in May and the joint venture partners are looking for more natural gas to potentially underpin a 50 per cent increase in its size that will cost billions more dollars to execute.