A study of the project’s economics is due by August, Palmer, who’s also a national lawmaker, said today after a speech in Sydney. A seismic survey, used to find underwater oil and gas deposits, has finished, he said.
“We’re finalizing our program,” said Palmer, who owns mining company Mineralogy Pty. “Then we’ll be going forward to the next stage. We’ve got one of the most promising areas up there. We’re looking at drilling and how we go about that.”
Palmer, who’s planning to build a modern replica of the Titanic, is seeking to tap surging Asian gas demand. The first shipment from Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)’s $19 billion LNG development in Papua New Guinea left the country earlier this month. Total SA and InterOil Corp. (IOC) want to build a second natural gas export project in the Pacific nation.
The fields that Palmer’s business is evaluating may have about 28 trillion cubic feet of gas, he said, declining to give a value for the assets. They could be worth more than $35 billion, the Courier-Mail reported in August last year, citing Palmer.
“There’s an economic study on at the moment looking at the placement of LNG plants and that sort of thing,” he said. “It’s a very under-explored area for capital.”
Palmer owns a nickel refinery and is developing a coal project in Australia.
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