InterOil announced the relocation of core functions from its 100-person office in Cairns, Australia, to support expanding operations in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Cairns office will close by the end of the year.
The decision to increase capacity in PNG comes as InterOil is finalizing an agreement with Total S.A. of France to develop a multi-billion dollar LNG project in PNG. Work continues on completing the Total agreement by the end of Q1 2014, including the buy-out of minority interests.
Michael Hession, InterOil Corporation Chief Executive Officer, commented,
“The relocation of core functions would put resources where they are most needed. PNG is our base, and where all our activities are, including exploration, refining, and distribution – and, of course, the LNG project. It makes sense to focus our workforce there.”
InterOil has also begun a new round of drilling as part of its exploration activities across almost 4 million acres in PNG. The company plans to drill up to eight wells in the next 12-15 months. The drilling of each well is expected to take about three months. Currently, 1100 people are working in the field on the seismic program and preparation for drilling operations. The commencement of drilling operations will employ an additional 300 people.
LNG World News Staff, January 29, 2014; Image: InterOil