SPANISH energy giant Repsol has surprised no-one with the announcement that it is pulling out of PNG.

The company acquired the significant PNG oil and gas interests through its global takeover of Talisman Energy, but has been rebuked by some PNG Ministers for showing limited interest in pursuing developments in the country.

The buyer of the assets is the Chinese firm Balang International Pte. Ltd, which will now need to work with a range of JV partners to start moving the Western Province fields developments.

Subject to customary conditions precedent for a transaction of this nature, the sale includes Repsol’s approximately 40% interest in the Elevala/Ketu and Stanley fields, being the foundation fields for the standalone gas aggregation project, Western LNG.

“Balang is committed to develop the discovered resources in these assets, with the potential for PNG’s next liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to be a reality in the very near future. This deal is great news for PNG, and for the people of the Western Province in particular,” Dai Ying Xiang, chairman of Balang, said.

Balang is part of the China Changcheng Natural Gas Power Co. Ltd Group (Changcheng Group) which has investments in the natural gas and power sectors in the Asia Pacific Region, including in the People’s Republic of China.

The business will continue to be operated by Repsol until the completion of the transaction, prioritizing the well-being of staff and safe and reliable operations.