International energy companies seeking a foothold in Papua New Guinea's nascent natural gas export industry are being courted with a new opportunity. Sydney-based Horizon Oil is seeking to sell up to half of its assets in Papua New Guinea, after drilling results in the forelands region of the Southeast Asian country beat expectations and highlighted the potential for a new liquefied natural gas plant.
A deal could be worth around US$250 million based on recent transactions in Papua New Guinea, which UK-based consultancy Wood Mackenzie estimates has reserves totalling at least 26 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Papua New Guinea’s appeal as a gas exporter is growing in step with Asia’s demand for natural gas, particularly in China which is striving to reduce its reliance on burning dirty coal for power.
The International Energy Agency this month forecast China’s consumption of natural gas is poised to quadruple from 130 billion cubic metres in 2011 to 545 billion cubic metres in 2035.