19 Oct 2006

Investment bankers Merrill Lynch plans to start delivery of LNG from PNG

10:55 am on 19 October 2006

The North American investment bank Merrill Lynch has disclosed plans to launch a spot-trading desk for liquefied natural gas or LNG by the end of this year, and says it plans to start delivery of LNG from Papua New Guinea by 2011.

The newspaper, The National, reports that Merrill Lynch, which is in a three-way partnership with InterOil Ltd on a plan to investigate export of LNG from PNG, made the surprise announcement at an LNG conference in Rome.

The vice-president of business development at Merrill Lynch Commodities Trading, Brad Hitch, says

financial closure on the LNG project in PNG was expected to occur in the third quarter of 2008.

He says the first LNG cargoes from PNG could be shipped in the second quarter of 2011.