PNG offers gas field priority to Japan for energy security

(L-R) PNG Prime Minister James Marape and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida

Papua New Guinea offered Japanese companies favoured access to new gas field development opportunities and liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing projects in trade talks on Tuesday that focused on energy security, PNG Prime Minister James Marape said.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with his PNG counterpart ahead of the funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at a time when Japan is seeking LNG supplies to replace gas from Russia.

Marape said Kishida highlighted Japan’s need for energy security and sought to increase trade between the two countries.

“I assured Prime Minister Kishida that PNG can help Japan’s energy security needs with a continuous supply of LNG,” Marape said in comments on the Facebook page of the PNG Office of the Prime Minister.

“I assured him that if there are any additional gas fields to be developed, Japan would be given priority in developing these, which I discussed later with Sojitz, JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation and LNG Japan Corporation.”

Marape said he had also invited those companies to get involved in processing LNG resources in PNG.

Japan participates in several major projects in PNG, including an airport, Marape said.

A unit of JX Holdings is a stakeholder in PNG’s biggest resource project, PNG LNG, operated by Exxon Mobil Corp.

PNG’s state-owned Kumul Petroleum on Tuesday said it had offered US$1.1 billion to buy a five percent stake in PNG LNG from Santos Ltd, subject to Kumul lining up financing and to other PNG LNG partners waiving their rights to match the offer. JX Holdings had no immediate comment on whether it would waive its rights.

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