Oil Search Ltd., a partner in a $15 billion liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, said it seeks to increase reserves to support two more production units at the Exxon Mobil Corp.-led venture.
“We believe there are very good prospects for one or more LNG trains to be added to the initial PNG LNG project,” Oil Search said in a presentation filed today with the Australian stock exchange. “A primary focus for Oil Search over the next two years is on proving up sufficient gas reserves.”
First exports from the venture, one of more than a dozen in Australia and Papua New Guinea targeting Asian demand for cleaner-burning fuels, are due in 2014. The venture may double the size of Papua New Guinea’s economy, Port Moresby-based Oil Search has said.
Exxon and its partners have started construction at the project, after completing financing agreements with lenders, initially developing two units with a capacity to produce 6.6 million metric tons of LNG a year.
A third processing plant may begin exporting gas in late 2015 or early 2016, Oil Search said in February.
Oil Search declined 1.2 percent to A$5.76 at 12:10 p.m. in Sydney trading, compared with a loss of 0.3 percent for the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index. Oil Search has gained 15 percent in the past year, lagging behind the 31 percent advance in the benchmark index.
Revenue generated by the LNG project, managed wisely, may “transform the lives of every single PNG citizen, through the construction of new infrastructure and improved health and educational outcomes,” Oil Search said today.