MELBOURNE,, Australia— Papua New Guinea signaled on Aug. 4 it was backing a previously agreed LNG deal with French oil major Total SA, although it said that some terms still needed negotiating.
The deal, for a project called Papua LNG, was agreed in April but put up for review after the prime minister who signed it was ousted in a parliamentary vote in May, following a political crisis caused by discontent over the distribution of resource riches.
On Sunday, Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua, who was appointed to the portfolio in June by new Prime Minister James Marape, said his government "in principle" stood behind the project.
Papua LNG, a joint venture between Total, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Australia's Oil Search Ltd., is part of a $13 billion project set to double the country's exports of LNG.
"However, the state has reserved its rights to discuss a shortlist of matters to be discussed with the developers," Kua said in an e-mailed statement.
"We believe that what we have discussed and agreed to are favorable and will not affect the general economics and fiscal terms of the Papua LNG Gas Agreement."
He added that finalizing the details should not take more than two weeks.
Shell also said Amberjack Pipeline Co. has signed a dedication and connection agreement with Chevron's Gulf of Mexico anchor project, which is expected to produce oil in 2024.
Companies added one oil rig in the week to Feb. 21, bringing the total count to 679, their highest since the week of Dec. 20, Baker Hughes Co. said in its weekly report on Feb. 21.
The success of Vaca Muerta is key for this South American nation that has failed for decades to break free of cyclical crises and is grappling with inflation above 50% and a $100-billion pile of sovereign debt.