25 May 2013

Japan interest in PNG gas grows as Osaka partners Horizon

9:42 am on 25 May 2013

Japan's Osaka Gas Ltd. has agreed to pay 204 million US dollars to acquire stakes in natural gas assets in Papua New Guinea owned by Australia's Horizon Oil Ltd.

Horizon has made a series of discoveries and is considering a new gas-export facility on the south coast of PNG's mainland.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Horizon will receive 74 million dolars in cash up front from Osaka, and a further 130 million if a decision is made to build an LNG export project.

Horizon has already partnered with Japan's Mitsubishi Corp and Canada's Talisman Energy in looking to combine natural gas from several fields in PNG's flat forelands region.

Reflecting Japan's growing interest in PNG gas, Mitsubishi took a foothold in the country last year, spending 280 million to buy stakes in several discoveries and exploration blocks from Talisman.

Horizon's Chief Executive Brent Emmett says that together, they have enough reserves to underwrite a planned plant at Daru in Western Province.