8 Dec 2005

Papua New Guinea may host Chinese natural gas project

9:24 am on 8 December 2005

The Papua New Guinea, Petroleum and Energy Minister Sir Moi Avei says a Chinese company, China National Petroleum Corp, may build a liquefied natural gas plant in PNG to cater for the energy needs of China.

Sir Moi told the National newspaper that he may sign an initial accord with China's biggest oil producer to develop natural gas reserves and construct an LNG plant during a visit to the country early next year.

The minister says China is a major LNG market and he has Chinese interests knocking on his door.

Sir Moi says LNG buyers in India, South Korea and Japan have also expressed interest in buying gas from Papua New Guinea.

China National Petroleum has declined comment.

The project would revive a now-defunct BP Plc-led proposal in 1998 to pipe gas from the Hides gas field in the Southern Highlands northwards to Wewak, the minister said.

That proposal was for a single 4.5 million-ton-a-year LNG plant for export to Asian buyers.