"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

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.