Speaking at the ninth PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in Sydney yesterday, Oil Search gas commercialisation manager Bob Marcellus said the project had evolved several times since its inception and a “potentially viable project remains available”.
“We’re working hard to bring it to fruition,” he said.
“You may hear a variety of news about PNG gas as you canvass the many and varied interests in this room today, but I can tell you we’re moving forward to realise the dream for Oil Search, its partners, the PNG Government and the people.
“As always, it’s a matter of timing and judgement of what’s possible, given the changing world around us and the competing opportunities.”
Marcellus said Oil Search would be looking for expressions of interest for completion of the Australian leg of the pipeline and would be relying on a successful application if the project is to move forward.
PNG’s largest oil company said it was also progressing with plans for both a petrochemical business to address energy concerns in Port Moresby, and a liquefied natural gas project with UK partner BG Group.
Marcellus said the gas industry was enjoying a genuine upturn in the cycle but it was important to diversity its business over several products to protect against the inevitable downturn in the future.
He said the company would also look to supply gas into both short-term, premium-paying alternative markets and the stable, longer-term markets such as Australia.
“To Oil Search, the emerging gas business is complementary of its oil business, hence the driver for early gas commercialisation. We recognise the need to build an industry and not just a project.”