The ExxonMobil-operated PNG LNG plant delivered a total of 27 cargoes during the first three months of the year.
The cargoes comprised 24 cargoes sold under contract and three cargoes sold on the spot market. This compares to 30 cargoes sold in the previous quarter.
Oil Search, a PNG LNG project stakeholder, noted that two cargoes were on the water at the end of the period, the same as at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019.
The timing of shipments also resulted in LNG inventory build-up at the end of the quarter.
Total first-quarter production from the PNG LNG project, net to Oil Search, was 6.35 mmboe, representing an annualised production rate of 8.7 MTPA, up from 8.5 MTPA in the prior quarter.
In early 2020, the PNG LNG joint venture commenced domestic gas sales to supply the 58-megawatt Port Moresby gas-fired power station, operated by NiuPower.
In late January, negotiations between ExxonMobil, operator of PRL 3 (P’nyang), and the PNG government were suspended as the parties were unable to agree on the key terms relating to the development of the P’nyang field.
Subsequently, discussions have continued with the state, with the aim of agreeing on the terms that are fair and balanced for all stakeholders.
Technical discussions relating to the PRL 15 (Papua LNG) component of the LNG expansion project continued through the quarter. The remaining technical pre-FEED engineering work is being curtailed and FEED contract negotiations have been put on hold, pending the completion of the P’nyang gas agreement.
In addition, technical and social activities have been temporarily suspended due to operational challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the inability to conduct face-to-face meetings, marketing activities for equity LNG volumes under the expansion project have been scaled back.
It is expected that these activities will resume fully when there is greater certainty on the progress of LNG expansion activities.