Production from Papua LNG in Papua New Guinea could start in 2024, says Total Managing Director


French super major Total will look to have a final gas agreement with the Papua New Guinea government for the Papua LNG project by March 2019. If the project gets the final go-ahead, production should start in 2024, according to Jean-Marc Noiray, Managing Director of Total E&P PNG.

Total E&P PNG’s Jean-Marc Noiray

Jean-Marc Noiray says Total is looking to start a conclusive engineering study in the second quarter of next year and to make a final investment decision ‘before 2020’.

‘We sometimes call it a ‘deep onshore operation’, meaning it is so remote in pristine jungle,’ he said in a speech this week to industry leaders.

‘The challenges are enormous from a logistical point of view and an environmental point of view.

‘We have to respect the environment in which we work.

‘The sites will ‘feed, over a 15 years plateau, 5.4 million tonnes per year’ of LNG production.’

‘The most important thing is the relationship with the communities and land owners.’

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Noiray says the appraisal drilling conducted on the Elk and Antelope fields in Gulf Province is now complete.

Total is ‘now pretty confident’ that the sites will ‘feed, over a 15 years plateau, 5.4 million tonnes per year’ of LNG production.

‘It was important to understand the navigability.’

‘We have done a lot of work in our studies. We have completed the pre-FEED [front end engineering and design] studies, which are a lot more advanced than is usual.

‘We have done a lot of exhaustive surveys trying to anticipate a lot of the challenges which are coming from the logistic point of view, the topographic issues and the poor soil quality.

‘It was important to understand the navigability. Most of the reserves are at Antelope, actually.

‘One of the most challenging parts of the construction will be the onshore pipeline, which is 60 kilometres.’

Noiray adds that Total will be ‘joining forces’ with the PNG LNG project to ‘create synergies.’


Total’s global Chairman and CEO, Patrick Pouyanné. Source: ABAC

Meanwhile, the CEO and Chairman of Total, Patrick Pouyanné, told the APEC CEO summit in Port Moresby last month that natural gas and renewables-based electricity will be ‘at the core’ of energy supplies in the future.

In his speech, Pouyanné outlined his views on future energy developments, saying they will be based on reliability, affordability and clean energy.

‘It is a mistake to avoid all energy. We need all of them.’

‘There is no simple solution,’ he said.

‘Energy transition will not be a revolution. It will not occur overnight. Change will take place over generations.

‘It is a mistake to avoid all energy [sources]. We need all of them.

‘For example, there are not yet replacements for hydrocarbons which provide the intensity of heat required for heavy industries like steel, cement, and many chemical processes.

‘When we look to the future, there are two energies which will be at the core of the evolution, the energy landscape.

‘One will be natural gas. Why? Because it is clean. It emits half as much carbon as coal.’


He said the other ingredient for power generation is renewables.

‘This is why we are also investing in low-carbon electricity business around the world, including in Asia-Pacific, where there is also strong potential for develop renewable-powered businesses.’

His comments followed the signing during APEC of a memorandum of understanding defining the key terms of the gas agreement for the Papua LNG Project.

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