Total expects Papua New Guinea to honour LNG deal

PARIS (Reuters) - French energy company Total said on Friday that it expected Papua New Guinea’s incoming government to honour a contract signed by the previous administration for a liquefied natural gas project in the South Pacific archipelago.

“We note that the new prime minister has indicated that he will honour the contracts that were already signed,” Total said in a statement sent to Reuters. “According to our information, this touches on the gas agreement signed by PNG’s government to develop the Papua LNG project.”

Papua New Guinea’s new prime minister James Marape pledged on Thursday to “tweak and turn” laws governing how natural resources are extracted to help lift the country out of poverty.

Total and partners Oil Search and Exxon Mobil signed a deal with Papua New Guinea in April aimed at allowing initial work to start on a $13 billion plan to double the country’s liquefied natural gas exports.

Reporting by Bate Felix, Writing by Sarah White. Editing by Jane Merriman