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    PNG Team Moves to Renegotiate Gas Deal with Total

Summary

The deal was signed in April by the previous government.

by: Shardul Sharma

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PNG Team Moves to Renegotiate Gas Deal with Total

A team representing Papua New Guinea government has left for Singapore to renegotiate the Papua LNG gas agreement, which was signed by the previous PNG government and the French Total-led PRL 15 joint venture in April 2019, PNG energy minister Kerenga Kua said August 15 in a statement. 

The minister said that people’s expectations must be guarded at this moment and the “negotiations could work out well or even disastrous, but either way, people must be ready to accept whatever the outcome.” Kua’s tone was sharply different from what it was earlier this month when he announced that PNG government has "in principle" supported the deal. The deal was put up for review after the prime minister who signed it resigned in May.

“NEC [National Executive Council] met Friday 2 August and has discussed the result of the review conducted by the state negotiating team and has agreed in principle that state should stand behind the signed agreement in the best interest of the state,” Kua said August 4 in a statement. 

Kua's latest comments have once again raised doubts about the status of the Papua LNG agreement. Further delays to the finalisation of the P'nyang gas agreement are on the cards.

The Papua LNG project will encompass two LNG trains of 2.7mn mt/yr each and will be developed together with the existing PNG LNG project facilities, operated by US major ExxonMobil.