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Might be dealing with someone other than Fabian POK if this gets...

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    Might be dealing with someone other than Fabian POK if this gets up.

    Addressing the Macquarie Australia Conference on Tuesday, Mr Botten played down the risk to the PNG LNG and Papua LNG expansion plans as a result of a potential no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Peter O'Neill next week.

    The Elk-Antelope gas fields, formerly owned by InterOil, will supply gas for the Papua LNG project. But he acknowledged that the timing of a deal due this quarter to set out fiscal and other terms for the development of the P'nyang gas field, which will feed the PNG LNG expansion, is in the hands of government.

    Concerns that PNG is not seeing enough benefit from LNG development have fuelled some of the political opposition to Mr O'Neill."Clearly if there's a change of government or whatever in Papua New Guinea that might impact timing, but all sides of politics recognise the importance of this project and the need to move forward given competition from others," Mr Botten said in Sydney."So I feel pretty comfortable that we are going to make it this quarter.

    There is enormous momentum to develop this resource now in a fair and balanced way.

    The expansion project involves two separate ventures, Papua LNG, led by France's Total and PNG LNG, led by ExxonMobil. Oil Search has a stake in both ventures. It is being carried out as a coordinated, three-train project to save $US3.5 billion-$US4 billion of costs.

    The Papua LNG venture finally signed its gas agreement with the PNG government early this month after several delays, and the P'nyang agreement is targeted by June so the venture partners can proceed with engineering work on the gas processing part of the project.After already some delays, a final investment decision for construction of the whole project, involving 8.1 million tonnes a year of LNG capacity, is now scheduled for mid-2020, with start-up targeted for 2024.

    Significant LNG capacity planned elsewhere around the world has increased pressure to avoid further delays.Mr Botten said Oil Search would "watch closely" events when the PNG Parliament sits next Tuesday and Wednesday."It is always tough to bet against the incumbent but we'll see," he said.Peter Botten. chief executive, Oil Search.

    Papua New Guinea has had two Prime Ministers in the last 19 years. Compared to Australia it's doing OK. But there are times when political shake-ups happen. This may or may not be the time when it happens but we'll know over the next week."Mr Botten called the negotiations with the PNG government last year on the Papua gas agreement the most difficult he had ever been involved in. But he said the P'nyang deal shouldbe easier because it would use the first deal as a template."It doesn't matter what side of politics, they understand that the Papua New Guinea future is essentially tied to investor and international sentiment, investor sentiment, financial sentiment," Mr Botten told reporters later."There is broad agreement right across the political spectrum that the future development of Papua LNG is essential for the economy's growth."

    Mr Botten also revealed that Oil Search's board has signed off on a deal for Santos to buy into the P'nyang field, although no announcement has yet been made. The deal, which would better align interests across the P'nyang and PNG LNG ventures, has been in discussion for years.
    Last edited by TheFatz: 30/04/19
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