Total unveils development sites for renamed Papua LNG project

Total SA and its joint venture partners Oil Search Ltd. and InterOil Corp. have announced key infrastructure sites for development of the proposed Elk-Antelope LNG project in Papua New Guinea, now dubbed the Papua LNG project (PLNG).

The LNG plant will built at Caution Bay, adjacent to and similar in size to the existing two-train ExxonMobil Corp.-operated Papua New Guinea LNG plant, about 20 km northwest of Port Moresby.

The upstream central processing facility will be built close to the Purari River to the west of the Herd Base which serves the Elk-Antelope field operations in petroleum retention lease PRL-15.

There will be about 75 km of onshore pipeline corridor descending from the Eastern Highlands processing plant south to the Purari River delta area to the west of Kerema and then 265 km of offshore pipeline corridor following the coastline to Caution Bay. There will be two separate lines—one for gas and one for condensate.

The JV said detailed geotechnical data will be acquired during the next few months to further define the site locations and pipeline corridors.

The selection of the final development concept, including the size and capacity of the facilities, will take place early next year after appraisal of the Elk-Antelope field has been completed and the volume of reserves has been quantified. The development concept will provide the basis for the front-end engineering and design phase beginning later in 2016.

The sites have been chosen for their technical, economic, and environmental benefits based on exhaustive surveys by operator Total during the last 12 months.

River access to the central processing facility is an obvious plus, while the LNG facility has potential synergies with the existing infrastructure at the Papua New Guinea LNG site as well as providing significant land for any later expansion.

In the meantime appraisal of Antelope field will continue. Initial testing of Antelope-5 has given results consistent with a substantial resource base and good productivity in the carbonate reservoir.

Antelope-4 is being sidetracked to provide additional testing of the reservoir. This will be followed by Antelope-6 later this year.

Early estimates suggest Elk-Antelope has a resource of 7-9 tcf of gas. No tentative figure has yet been given for condensate volumes. Initial thoughts are for a two-train LNG facility.

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