Papua New Guinea starts paying landowners LNG royalties
MELBOURNE (Reuters) — The Papua New Guinea government has started paying local landowners long awaited benefits from the $19 B PNG LNG project, in a promising sign for energy giants ExxonMobil and Total looking to invest billions more in the country.
The PNG liquefied natural gas project, operated by ExxonMobil Corp, has been exporting for more than three years, with a 2% royalty set aside for landowners, but payments had been held up by disputes over who is eligible.
The royalty funds have been held in trust by the government while it vets landowners, a prolonged process that has triggered violent clashes over the past three years and threatened to disrupt PNG LNG operations.
"Important progress has been made with the government of PNG commencing payment of royalties to relevant landowner groups around the PNG LNG Plant near Port Moresby," ExxonMobil PNG said in emailed comments to Reuters on Wednesday.
The PNG prime minister's office, treasury department and Bank of Papua New Guinea did not respond to requests for comment.
Progress on resolving the disputes comes as a relief for ExxonMobil, France's Total SA and their partners who are in talks to invest billions of dollars in new gas fields to double LNG exports from one of the world's lowest cost sites.
The government has made resolution of the landowner issues a priority in a 100-day plan it set out following elections in July.
Peter Botten, managing director of Oil Search, which is also a partner in Total SA's Papua LNG project, told Reuters in August a key hurdle to the companies' plans was getting the government to complete the landowner vetting process.
"This is a really good step toward sorting out benefits payments," an Oil Search spokeswoman said on Wednesday about the government's first payments to landowners.
Identification of those eligible for royalties still needs to be resolved with landowners in the impoverished highlands, where gas is produced and piped to the LNG plant.
Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Joseph Radford
According to GIIGNL’s 2018 Annual Report, global LNG trade expanded by 3.5 Bft3d in 2018, to 38.2 Bft3d—a record 10% increase.
Power, LNG projects drive pipeline construction in Africa
Increasing public investment in gas-fired power plants in Africa, the continuing recovery in global oil prices and persistent insecurity in key producer markets, such as Nigeria, are likely to impact gas transmission pipeline projects on the continent, even as more international companies express interest in the region’s stranded gas resources.
Maximize Profitability with Advanced Analytics at Natural Gas Processing Plants
Incorporating economic data into process modeling is key to optimizing operations and maximizing profits at gas processing plants. However, maintaining optimal operations are often challenging due to changing market dynamics, contract structures and increasing process flexibility. Today, gas processors are leveraging Predictive Control and First Principles models to accurately determine and control the optimal operating targets in real time based on the most current plant conditions and profitability, optimizing recovery of natural gas liquids. Learn how real-time analytics, combined with decision support tools, empower companies to:
•Improve processing margins by up to 5%
•Maximize NGL production through improved availability and optimized process conditions
•Improve compositional control to operate closer to product specifications
May 22, 2018 10am CDT