O'Neill off to Japan

PAPUA New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will tour Japan later this week to help strengthen PNG’s relations with this leading LNG importing nation.

O'Neill off to Japan

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He will meet Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the three-day visit from March 21.

One topic of interest could be InterOil's Gulf LNG project. Japan's Mitsui Group has lent almost $US12 million to InterOil for its long-running condensate stripping project based on the project's Elk-Antelope in PNG's Gulf Province.

At least two supermajors are involved in bids for a possible operating stake of the Gulf LNG project and it is not clear how this condensate project will fit into the yet-to-be decided development schedule.

"Mitsui are currently working with us on the condensate stripping facilities required for the Gulf LNG project and awaiting the partner outcome," InterOil chief financial officer Collin Visaggio recently told PNGIndustryNews.net.

The PNG government, which owns 27.5% of Elk-Antelope and has previously flagged boosting its stake to 50%, also has the final say over the Gulf LNG outcome.

"The development decision will be recommended by the strategic partner and the PNG government will decide and approve the best commercialisation approach," Visaggio previously said.

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