Qld oil firm poised to challenge gas project
By FREDDY GIGMAI
THE Papua New Guinea Gas pipeline project is facing another challenge Down Under, this time from a leading Australian coal-seam gas producer, Queensland Gas Co.
The company announced yesterday that it was moving to double its proven and probable reserves to 1,000 petajoules by ramping up production and appraisal at its Berwyndale South development and near-field exploration.
This announcement comes just a week after Western Australian premier Alan Carpenter took advantage of the current security issues surrounding the K9.2 billion Papua New Guinea gas project in Southern Highlands province by calling for a transcontinental pipeline linking WAs vast gas supplies with the east coast market.
QGC unveiled a A$59.7 million (K138.7 million), share-based rights issue to help boost production and reserves in order to lock in more major customers before the proposed PNG-Queensland pipeline comes on-stream.
Managing director Richard Cottee said within 12 months, the company aimed to have confirmed reserves large enough to meet eastern Australias gas needs for many years from a very low cost base.
According to pngindustrynews, Cottee argued that the costs of building major pipelines were rising rapidly and he believed QGC could provide cheaper gas than PNG, adding that QGC was developing its gas production facilities around the Surat Basins Undulla Nose geological structure, which he believed could prove to be a world-class gas resource.
Last week Mr Carpenter claimed that the declaration of a state of emergency in SHP was further evidence that PNG carries risks but Petroleum and Energy Minister Sir Moi Avei nailed the WA premier labelling his criticism of the gas project as ill informed.
Mr Avei took to task Mr Carpenters criticism, saying that as far as he was aware the premier had never visited PNG and had not been briefed on the gas project.
Meanwhile, a group of leaders comprising former national politicians and local level government presidents from the Hela region and Nipa-Kutubu electorate of SHP have reassured the PNG Government and Oil Search that the state of emergency declared in their province would not disturb the oil and gas projects.
The leaders said the projects belonged to the people of PNG and should be left to continue their normal operations but asked for a proper explanation from the Government on the declaration of the state of emergency.
Just watch these turn of events; PNG Gas will never go to Australia.
I believe a devine intervention.
Some of us have been hoping this would happen, and it will happen.