Closer access to Asia
The Exotica North Gas Prospect is shaping up to be a major project, ranking alongside the top-tier petroleum assets in Papua New Guinea. For example, it is on a scale similar to the Hides Gas Field on mainland Papua New Guinea (Hides measures approximately 30 km long x 5 km wide).
The scale of the resource would, if confirmed by drilling, justify an onshore LNG plant, potentially located on nearby Lihir Island or New Ireland.
A plant located in New Ireland Province would cut LNG transport times to key Asian markets, such as Japan, Korea and China, by 25 to 40 per cent relative to other LNG plants in the Australia-Papua New Guinea region (for example, Caution Bay, Darwin, Gladstone, Ichthys and Prelude).
Preliminary studies indicate that siting this plant on New Ireland, with its deep water port access, international airport and sealed highway logistics, combined with the reduced transport costs to Asian export markets, could easily shift our LNG production costs into the lowest quartile of global producers.