5 Sep 2006

Australian company says PNG gas pipeline could enter Australia by 2010

9:50 am on 5 September 2006

The Australian Gas Light Company's chief executive Paul Anthony says the gas pipeline from Papua New Guinea to Australia could enter the Australian market as early as 2010.

Last month, the gas utility flagged plans to scale back its involvement in the proposed PNG to Queensland pipeline, saying it was unwilling to spend more money without confirmed customers.

The Post Courier reports Mr Anthony said he would support a staged construction model for the proposed pipeline rather than a large and rapid development.

In January, AGL finalised a deal with Oil Search to buy a 10 per cent stake in the PNG gas project, but in June said the forecast costs of the pipeline had blown out from $US3 billion to as much as $US4 billion.

Mr Anthony said while its strongly supportive of the PNG project, its been difficult to get customers to commit to it.