Oil major ExxonMobil Corporation ( XOM ) has obtained an additional debt financing of $1.5 billion for its $19 billion Papua New Guinea (PNG) liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
The additional financing will assist in covering the excess expenses at the LNG development, which has a capacity of 6.9 million metric ton per year. The project cost has flared up by 21% to reach $19 billion from $15.7 billion in late 2012.
The PNG LNG project, operated by ExxonMobil, is scheduled to start operations and deliver its first LNG cargoes in 2014. Other project partners include Oil Search, National Petroleum Company Papua New Guinea, Santos, JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration, Papua New Guinea's Mineral Resources Development Company and Petromin PNG Holdings Limited.
PNG LNG is an integrated development that comprises gas production and processing facilities in Hela, Southern Highlands and Western Provinces of Papua New Guinea. It also includes liquefaction and storage facilities in the northwest region of Port Moresby on the Gulf of Papua, with a capacity of 6.9 million tons per year. The facilities are linked by over 700 kilometers (450 miles) of pipelines.
Considered as holding one of the largest resources in Papua New Guinea, the LNG development is expected to boost GDP by 20%.
The project has long-term LNG supply contracts with four primary customers in Asia. The customers are China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation or Sinopec ( SNP ), Osaka Gas Company Limited, The Tokyo Electric Power Company Inc. and Chinese Petroleum Corporation.
ExxonMobil carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, Zacks Ranked #1 (Strong Buy) stocks - Enbridge Energy Management, LLC ( EEQ ) and Stone Energy Corp. ( SGY ) - seem good investment options for the short term.