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Head of Total weighs in on talks between Exxon and PNG

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According to Reuters, the head of Total has said that Exxon Mobil Corp. and the government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) must resume talks so that the US$13 billion expansion of gas production can proceed.

The plan would double LNG exports from PNG, and depends on agreements to develop two new gas fields. However, the PNG government walked away from negotiations with Exxon regarding one of those fields just last week.

According to Reuters, the other agreement was signed with Total in September last year. The plan was for the gas from the two fields to be processed at an expansion of the existing Exxon-operated PNG LNG plant in Port Moresby.

Total CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, said: “Our project is joint with that of Exxon.

“There is a need for an agreement and the PNG government is aware of that.

“We have an agreement; they need to find an agreement. All of that needs negotiation, I don’t think negotiations should be done through media.

“Fundamentally, the two projects are good. Fundamentally, PNG wants the projects to go ahead, now it is a question of negotiation.

“I’m convinced they’ll reach an agreement. It is a question of patience.”

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