Queensland Opens PNG Gas Project FEED Office

Progress on Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) for the PNG Gas Project was marked with the official opening of the Project FEED office by the Queensland Minister for State Development, the Hon Tony McGrady MP.

The Brisbane FEED office consists of approximately 150 engineering, technical and financial experts from the Project Owners and the FEED contractor, Eos (a joint venture of KBR and WorleyParsons).

The FEED office is undertaking preliminary design work for the gas field developments in PNG, gas processing and export compression facilities, infrastructure, and the PNG section of the gas pipeline to the PNG/Australian border. The program is expected to be completed around the end of the year.

"The Project appreciates the continued support of the Queensland, PNG and Australian Governments as we progress through the FEED program," said Project Manager for the PNG Gas Project, Peter Graham.

"While FEED is progressing, the Project is also continuing to actively seek additional gas customers, which is critical to the Project proceeding.

"An investment decision is to be taken by the Project Owners following completion of FEED. At that time it will be necessary for gas sales agreements to be in place for sufficient volumes of gas to underpin project economics and allow the Project Owners to make a decision to proceed."

In addition to the FEED program for the PNG component of the Project, APC (a consortium led by AGL and Petronas) announced on 24 February 2005 that it was calling for tenders for a FEED program for the Australian component of the PNG Gas Project pipeline. In October 2004, APC and the PNG Gas Project Owners executed a binding Letter of Intent that provides APC with the responsibility for designing, owning and operating the pipeline and securing all project approvals within Australia.

The PNG Gas Project Owners are ExxonMobil (with Esso Highlands Limited as project operator), Oil Search, MRDC (a PNG company representing landowner interests) and Nippon Oil Exploration.