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Media Releases, 29 April 2014

PNG LNG Project starts first production ahead of schedule

  • Project remains on target for LNG cargo in coming weeks
  • Production ramp up continuing
  • PNG LNG expected to produce over 9 trillion cubic feet of gas

The PNG LNG Project, operated by ExxonMobil PNG Limited, has started production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) ahead of schedule using natural gas from the Hides fields in Papua New Guinea.

LNG production started after the Project’s LNG Plant cooled the gas to a temperature of -160 degrees Celsius and following several months of commissioning and startup activities.

“The PNG LNG Project team should be congratulated on achieving this major milestone ahead of schedule,” said ExxonMobil PNG Limited Managing Director Peter Graham.

“Completion of commissioning activities and the first LNG production ensures the Project remains on target for its first LNG cargo before the middle of 2014.”

Work on the second train is progressing and LNG production from this unit is expected to start in the next several weeks. Startup of the PNG LNG Project is a phased approach with production ramping up over the next several months.

“As is normal for projects of this size, we will continue to ramp up production until we are ready to load the first cargo in the coming weeks,” Mr Graham said.

“We look forward to the benefits that the Project will continue to provide to Papua New Guinea and its citizens.”

The $19 billion PNG LNG Project is an integrated development that includes gas production and processing facilities in the Southern Highlands, Hela, Western, Gulf and Central provinces of Papua New Guinea.

More than 700 kilometres of pipeline connect the facilities, which include a gas conditioning plant in Hides and liquefaction and storage facilities near Port Moresby with capacity of 6.9 million tonnes per year.

Flooding, minimal pre-existing infrastructure and extremely steep slopes were among obstacles that were overcome in constructing the Project. Pipe had to be airlifted in some areas because the soil could not support heavy machinery, and lack of infrastructure required construction of supplemental roads, communication lines and a new airfield.

The Project is expected to produce over 9 trillion cubic feet of gas over its lifetime.