ExxonMobil ships first cargo from PNG LNG project

Exxon Mobil Corp.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) has shipped the first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the $19 billion PNG LNG project ahead of schedule.

PNG LNG, operated by ExxonMobil affiliate ExxonMobil PNG Ltd., is expected to produce more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas over its estimated 30 years of operations. The first cargo is bound for LNG customer Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. (TEPCO) in Japan.

Production from the first train started in April and production from the second train has also started as additional wells came online.

Construction of PNG LNG began in 2010, and took more than 190 million work hours to complete. At its peak, the project employed more than 21,000 people.

Flooding, minimal preexisting 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 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. Approximately 435 miles of pipeline connect the facilities, which include a gas conditioning plant and liquefaction and storage facilities with capacity of 6.9 million tonnes of LNG per year.

The four major customers for the project’s output are China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. (TEPCO), Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., and CPC Corp. Taiwan.

In addition to ExxonMobil PNG Ltd., co-venturers are Oil Search Ltd., National Petroleum Co. of PNG, Santos Ltd., JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp., Mineral Resources Development Co. (representing landowners), and Petromin PNG Holdings Ltd.

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