Total has set out plans to get the Papua LNG plan back on track, following the declaration of force majeure on its Mozambique LNG project.
The French company’s chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné held talks with a Papua New Guinea delegation on May 3. Leading the PNG side was Deputy Prime Minister Samuel Basil.
Total had previously planned to reach a final investment decision (FID) on the 5.6 million tonne per year Papua LNG in 2020.
Under the new plan, it aims to launch front-end engineering and design (FEED) work in early 2022. This would allow Total to take FID in 2023. Oil Search, a partner in the project, has said first gas will come in 2027.
“I am honored to welcome the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea in our head-offices in Paris to review the Papua LNG implementation plan. This is indeed a very strong signal of the dedication of the PNG government to the success of this key project,” Pouyanné said,
“I confirm that this project is ranking very high in Total‘s portfolio”, the CEO said. He cited the “proximity to growing Asian LNG markets”, saying Total would “dedicate all necessary resources”.
Total signed a fiscal stability agreement and licence extension on the PNG plan in February. The French company said there had been delays because of COVID-19 but the construction plans have also faced political headwinds.
Basil said it was important to visit Total and the French authorities “to stress the importance to our nation of the Papua LNG project, and to pledge the full support of our government to this project. I am pleased with the outcome of this meeting with clear implementation plans.”
Total is the operator of the Elk and Antelope fields, on Block PRL-15, which will feed the liquefaction plant. It will transport the gas 320 km to Caution Bay, where it will build two trains.
The company will integrate Papua LNG into the PNG LNG site. This produced 8.8mn tpy of LNG in 2020 – 25% above its nameplate capacity.
Total said in its most recent quarterly earnings call it had minimised spending on Mozambique LNG.
The company’s CFO Jean-Pierre Sbraire said that as a result of problems in Mozambique it would “give priority to Cameron LNG expansion [in the US] and to the Papua LNG project”.