ExxonMobil Signs MOU with Papua New Guinea Government

Esso Highlands Ltd., a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, as operator of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Gas Project, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of PNG on the terms and conditions for developing and producing more than 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources in the Southern Highlands of PNG.

In conjunction with a number of legislative changes, which the PNG Government has sponsored through the Parliament, the MOU outlines the necessary fiscal and legal framework for the Project to move forward.

The MOU was signed in Port Moresby by Mr. Bill Threlfall, ExxonMobil Vice President, Exploration and Chairman of the PNG Gas Project Owners Group and, on behalf of the PNG Government, by Sir Moi Avei, Chairman of the Gas Committee and The Hon. Roy Yaki, Minister for Petroleum.

'The MOU is a significant achievement and marks the culmination of a lengthy period of negotiation. It is a substantial step toward the decision to develop the PNG gas pipeline and associated infrastructure,' said Mr Threlfall.

'This Gas Project is one of the most complex projects ever contemplated in PNG. It would include facilities to produce, treat, transport and sell commercial quantities of gas, and would be of major economic significance to the people of PNG. Now that an MOU is in place with the Government, the Project's next steps are to conclude gas sales arrangements and for the PNG Government to finalize its level of participation,' Mr. Threlfall added.

Participants in the PNG Gas Project are ExxonMobil as operator, Oil Search, Orogen, Chevron Texaco, JPP (Japan PNG Petroleum), and MRDC (a PNG company representing landowner interests).