Right now, a liquefied natural gas tanker ship is on its way to Japan from Papua New Guinea (PNG), carrying the first cargo from an ExxonMobil project that has been under construction since 2010.
Many more tankers will follow in the coming decades to help meet energy needs throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The PNG project is expected to produce more than 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas over the next 30 years.
The project was completed ahead of schedule, no small feat given the extremely challenging conditions in the remote highlands of this nation in the Western Pacific.
The project also represents a major milestone in our company’s efforts to expand production. Along with a number of our other oil and gas production projects around the world, the PNG operation is expected to contribute to a combined 1 million oil-equivalent barrels per day of new production we’re adding between 2012 and 2017.
But there is another angle I’d like to highlight: economic development for Papua New Guinea, where more than 80 percent of people have subsistence livelihoods in the country’s rural regions. ExxonMobil’s project with several international partners stands as an example of the economic-development benefits that can accompany energy production.
Consider these stats:
- The project took more than 190 million work hours to complete, and employed more than 21,000 people at its peak. Local workers made up more than 40 percent of the peak workforce.
- Papua New Guineans will comprise a substantial number of the project’s 1,200 permanent employees going forward.
- The indirect economic benefits from the project are expected to boost the nation’s aggregate employment by more than 40 percent.
- During construction, the project spent more than $4 billion on local goods and services.
- It is estimated that between $7.5 billion and $11.7 billion in tax revenues will accrue to the national government over the projected 30-year operation.
- Papua New Guinea’s annual GDP is expected to more than double, according to an economic impact statement completed by the consultancy ACIL Tasman.
Think about that last point. Our project is expected to double the entire economic output of a single nation, with all the attendant benefits that a dramatic increase in economic activity should bring.
We’re proud to help contribute so much to PNG’s future while providing cleaner burning natural gas to help meet the energy needs of the region.