Australia's Palmer says discovers potential $35 bln PNG gas region

SYDNEY Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:14am EDT

SYDNEY Aug 21 (Reuters) - Australian mining mogul Clive Palmer says his oil and gas business has identified what could be one of the world's largest gas fields off the coast of Papua New Guinea, potentially worth $35 billion.

After $50 million worth of exploration over 3,000 square km, the northern region of the Gulf of Papua was found to have about 28 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas.

"The results of the studies are extremely favourable and show this new Papua New Guinea gas region could possibly be as significant a resource area as the North West Shelf in Western Australia," said Palmer in a statement.

The region, 12 km (7 miles) from the coastline, is near Exxon Mobil's $19 billion LNG project, which is set to come online in 2014 with a capacity of 6.9 million tonnes of LNG per year.

Palmer said the Papua New Guinea government had offered strong support to take the gas project forward.

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