The manag­ing direc­tor of To­tal E&P PNG, op­er­a­tor of the Pa­pua LNG project, says pro­duc­tion is ex­pected to start in 2022/2023. He says To­tal is us­ing lo­cal labour and com­pa­nies as much as pos­si­ble.

Paradise - - Strictly Business -

Q: What has the past 12 months been about for To­tal?

A: The past 12 months were mostly ded­i­cated to pro­gress­ing our Pa­pua LNG devel­op­ment. We drilled An­te­lope 6 (at the) be­gin­ning of 2016 and we are cur­rently drilling An­te­lope 7. This An­te­lope 7 well should be the last ap­praisal well. It is lo­cated to the west of the field and is re­quired to fi­nalise the assess­ment of Elk An­te­lope re­sources. We have also started sev­eral field sur­veys re­quired to per­form the en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial im­pact as­sess­ments. That will pro­vide us with the base­line, which will be used to min­imise the po­ten­tial devel­op­ment im­pact on the com­mu­ni­ties and the en­vi­ron­ment.

Q: So af­ter you’ve fin­ished that well, you’ll have a good idea of the ex­tent of gas re­serves?

A: Yes. We should have a clearer pic­ture of what is in the ground and we hope that un­cer­tain­ties will be strongly re­duced.

Q: You have men­tioned pre­vi­ously that there is an op­por­tu­nity to present LNG to the mar­ket in around 2022. Is that win­dow still open?

A: Yes, with our plan­ning as it stands to­day, that win­dow is still open. It’s more 2022/2023 and all the teams are work­ing hard to re­spect this tar­get. This plan­ning con­sid­ers that FEED (Front End En­gi­neer­ing and De­sign) is due to start this year, for a fi­nal in­vest­ment de­ci­sion (FID) at the end of 2018. The con­struc­tion will hap­pen then be­tween 2019 and 2022.

Q: And if that’s the case, when do you start hir­ing?

A: First, keep in mind that the project is al­ready ben­e­fit­ing the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties as there are op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered for lo­gis­tics and drilling ac­tiv­i­ties; how­ever, more peo­ple will be em­ployed in the com­ing years. Which year ex­actly? I would say that it de­pends on what type of work needs to be done. There will be site prepa­ra­tions for the dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions fol­lowed by con­struc­tion. So part of this could start in 2019.

Q: How many staff have you got at the mo­ment?

A: For To­tal we have about 140/150 peo­ple. This per­son­nel is lo­cated in Port Moresby but also on the ground on PRL15, where we have a lo­gis­tics base, a drilling site and few sur­veys camps. In ad­di­tion, we have con­tracted staff on these sites. ■

Phillippe Blan­chard … says lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties are al­ready ben­e­fit­ing from the Pa­pua LNG project. “There are op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered for lo­gis­tics and drilling ac­tiv­i­ties; how­ever, more peo­ple will be em­ployed in the com­ing years.”

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