Prime Minister Marape Welcomes PetroChina to Papua New Guinea, Marking a Milestone in the Country’s Hydrocarbon Sector

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape announced that Papua New Guinea continues to be a prime destination for business ventures, highlighted by PetroChina International Co. Ltd’s recent entry into the nation’s hydrocarbon industry.

On a historically significant day for the oil and gas sector on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, Prime Minister Marape officially welcomed PetroChina into Papua New Guinea. This event coincided with the loading of the first LNG cargo onto the tanker ship Wudang, which berthed at the PNG LNG Plant wharf at Caution Bay, just outside Port Moresby.

“PetroChina International Co. Ltd, the largest oil and gas producer in the Asian continent and a top 50 company globally, joins sector giants already operating in the country, such as Exxon Mobil, Total, and Santos. Papua New Guinea is so blessed to have them,” said Prime Minister Marape.

He emphasised the significance of PetroChina’s entry into the PNG hydrocarbon market as a milestone achievement, partnering with the national oil and gas company, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd (KPHL).

KPHL Managing Director Wapu Sonk highlighted a landmark achievement: “This is the first time for KPHL to market our equity share of LNG production from the PNG LNG Project that is above the long-term Sales Purchase Agreement volumes.

“Kumul Petroleum has a 16.77 percent share in the PNG LNG Project, entitling us to sell approximately 14 LNG cargoes over the next four years. Additionally, once we conclude the acquisition of an extra 2.6 percent of the PNG LNG Project, this will provide us with more LNG to sell on the spot market.”

He further noted, “Kumul Petroleum directly selling its share of the PNG LNG Project production is a significant achievement for the company and the country. We are currently in talks with other potential buyers who will be purchasing LNG shipments from us in the future.”

The announcement also included that for the first time, KPHL is marketing LNG on the ‘spot’ market from its share of product from the PNG LNG Project, not committed to long-term sales agreements. This deal was confirmed last month to sell 144,000 cubic meters of LNG on FOB terms to PetroChina after a tender process held in February.

Prime Minister Marape recalled his meeting with PetroChina executives on March 24, 2024, in Singapore, discussing this petroleum deal, which has now successfully materialised for PNG. He noted that with major hydrocarbon projects like Papua LNG, P’nyang, and PNG LNG, the country potentially has up to 25 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of resources to harvest.

“Having these global giant companies in the petroleum sector in our country demonstrates huge potential for more investment in this space into the future,” he said.

“PNG is not only going to be involved in the upstream process but eventually in the downstream arena, which will open up even more opportunities.”

He extended his thanks to KPHL, State Enterprises Minister Hon. William Duma, Petroleum Minister Hon. Jimmy Maladina, and others involved in the significant progress discussions and implementation of petroleum-related agreements for the benefit of the country.