24 May 2003

Queensland renews support for PNG Gas pipeline

8:39 am on 24 May 2003

The Queensland State government has renewed its strong support for the proposed Papua New Guinea-to-Australia gas pipeline.

Premier Peter Beattie threw his weight behind the project in a joint statement with PNG's Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

The two leaders said, after their brief meeting in Brisbane, that the project was very important for PNG and Queensland.

They said the construction of the pipeline and the development of the facilities in PNG would create a substantial number of jobs and economic activity.

A major partner in the project, Oil Search Limited, said in its first quarter report last month, that detailed negotiations were being undertaken with key customers in Queensland and Northern Territory.

It was announced this week that Esso Highlands Limited, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corporation, would continue to be the operator of the PNG Gas project.