KBR to support PNG government on resources and energy development

29 November 2018 Consultancy.asia 2 min. read

The government of Papua New Guinea has tapped US engineering consultancy KBR for support in its energy and resource sector.

With Asian offices in Singapore, China, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia among its international operations, and a staff of 35,000 worldwide, the US-based global professional services specialist for the hydrocarbon and government sectors KBR has been tapped by the Papua New Guinean Department of Petroleum to help develop its local energy and resource sectors.

According to the firm, the new contract will see KBR provide ongoing consulting, advisory and engineering services on multiple existing and future energy and resource developments across the country, including with respect to the upstream, downstream and LNG segments – the latter, liquefied natural gas, being one of the key pillars of the country’s developing economy, despite recent set-backs.KBR to support PNG government on energy and resources development

The latest contract follows a conceptual development and feasibility study awarded to the firm by Kumul Petroleum last year for a Kikori Energy Hub at the head of the Gulf of Papua, and for its new consulting assignment, KBR states that it will deploy strategy and technical specialists from a number of offices worldwide, including those in Singapore, Australia, London and Houston.

“KBR is proud to help the Government of Papua New Guinea harness the full potential of their future energy developments,” said KBR President for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific Jay Ibrahim, who is based in the Middle East and crossed from Australian rival Worley Parsons in 2015. “We are excited to showcase our extensive expertise to help grow this key market.”

LNG market

The highly touted LNG sector of Papua New Guinea has suffered a number of set-backs this year, with questions raised over actual the benefits for the local economy. Operational since 2014, the massive $19 billion PNG LNG project operated by Exxon-Mobile has been hit by a series of hurdles, including a fatal 7.5 magnitude earthquake, an unstable gas market, and ongoing feuds between partners and the local population among other issues.

Still, new gas finds and a significant deal with China have emerged in just the past couple of months, and KBR – which has raised its revenues by double-digit figures so far this year, in part on the back of a growing consulting line and with a backlog level of $13.5 billion – will be banking on its hydrocarbon and government industry expertise to capitalise over the long-term in the still underdeveloped PNG market.

The Papua New Guinean capital Port Moresby recently played host to the Apec CEO summit, with Big Four profession services firm PwC acting as the event's official knowledge partner.