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ExxonMobil stops non-essential work in PNG highlands

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LNG Industry,

Reuters are reporting that ExxonMobil has evacuated non-essential staff working in the highlands of Papua New Guinea due to unrest in the area, but operations are continuing at its PNG LNG liquefied natural gas project.

It said its gas conditioning plant at Hides, which processes gas before it is sent via a 760 km pipeline to the PNG LNG export plant at Port Moresby, is continuing to operate.

Violence has escalated in the highlands, where gas is produced for the LNG project, due to anger among locals over the nation’s election process earlier this year and disputes over royalties from the PNG LNG project.

One of ExxonMobil’s staff in Angore was abducted last week but was later safely released.

Oil Search Ltd, which operates oil and gas fields in the area and is a partner in PNG LNG, said there has been no impact on its operations and its staff are working as normal.

Australia’s Santos Ltd, which recently rebuffed a US$7.2 billion takeover approach, is also a partner in PNG LNG.

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