CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-Exxon eyes Interoil assets for PNG LNG expansion

Mon May 27, 2013 4:38am EDT

(Corrects to show that 4 to 5 tcf is the gas required for one train, not the amount being considered in Interoil deal)

BRISBANE May 27 (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil's talks with Interoil to develop the Elk and Antelope fields could lead to an expansion of its $19-billion Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (PNG LNG) project, an Exxon executive said on Monday.

The company did not have a timeline for when a deal could be finalised, but Mark Nolan, Exxon Mobil vice president for development in the Middle East and Africa, signalled it may be soon.

"The expansion opportunities look attractive to us, so I wouldn't expect we'd wait too long," Nolan said, speaking to reporters at an industry conference.

Exxon said 4 to 5 trillion cubic feet is typically the amount of gas required to expand an LNG plant by one train. LNG plants are typically made up of several "trains," or self-sufficient plants that chill gas into liquid.

Interoil Corp announced on Friday that it had entered into exclusive negotiations with Exxon. (Reporting by Rebekah Kebede; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)