Illustration; Source: Santos

TotalEnergies bumps FID for Papua LNG to 2025

A meeting between the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of French energy giant TotalEnergies and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has enabled the duo to discuss the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project for which a final investment decision (FID) has now been moved to 2025.

Illustration; Source: Santos

At the meeting, TotalEnergies CEO and Chairman Patrick Pouyanné assured Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape that his company, which is the operator of the Papua LNG project, and its international partners ExxonMobil, Santos, and JX Nippon remain fully committed to the project. He also shared that several LNG buyers are interested in the off-taking of LNG from Papua LNG because of its proximity to Asian markets.

After his company received the first engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) offers, Pouyanné believes that more work with contractors is needed before commercially viable EPC contracts are obtained, which, in turn, means that more time is required to reach a final investment decision. According to the company, the structure of some packages within the project will be reviewed and a bigger pool of Asian contractors will be allowed to compete.

Even though the project faced several delays in the past, first being postponed due to Covid-19, followed by plans for reaching the FID in late 2023, Pouyanné and Marape agreed that the delays would not affect the early works planned in Papua New Guinea this year. The French major’s CEO highlights that the FID and the drilling of the first deepwater exploration well on the PPL 576 license can be expected in 2025.

The Papua LNG project will have a liquefaction capacity of up to six million tonnes of LNG per annum with the first production previously anticipated by the end of 2027 or early 2028. Three electric liquefaction trains with a cumulative capacity of 4Mt/y will be developed at the existing plant in Caution Bay to reduce the project’s carbon footprint.

Located close to Port Moresby, it will consist of nine production wells, one injection well, one CO2 reinjection well, and a gas processing plant, with 320 kilometers of pipeline, including 60 kilometers onshore, from the processing plant to the liquefaction plant in Caution Bay.

TotalEnergies has many other projects in Africa. Recently, the firm hired an Argeo vessel for work on an offshore project in the region under a $39 million contract. Last month, the company joined forces with QatarEnergy to acquire participating interests in Block 3B/4B offshore South Africa, while in January, it purchased additional interests in blocks 2913B and 2912 located off the coast of Namibia.

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