Oil Search expands Papua New Guinea acreage

Oil Search, the owner of a 29 percent stake in the PNG LNG project, agreed to acquire 30 percent interest in several PRLs onshore Papuan Gulf basin from ExxonMobil.

Oil Search noted it has acquired interest in each of the PRLs 474, 475, 476, 477 and PRL 39, which ExxonMobil acquired with the completion of its purchase of InterOil Corporation.

The licenses, which are located in the Eastern Foldbelt in the onshore Papuan Gulf Basin, adjacent to the Elk-Antelope fields in PRL 15, contain the Triceratops, Bobcat and Raptor discoveries.

As part of the proposed farm-in arrangements, Oil Search will undertake a seismic acquisition program over the licenses over the remainder of 2017 and into early 2018, on behalf of the operator, ExxonMobil.

Speaking of the farm-in Oil Search’s managing director, Peter Botten, said the onshore area not only has “discovered gas resources, but also significant further gas potential.”

“The onshore Gulf licenses are in close proximity to the world class Elk-Antelope fields in PRL 15, which are expected to underpin the Papua LNG development, providing a potential route for future commercialisation,” Botten said the company has also identified “a number of additional leads and prospects on the acreage.”

Although the company has not disclosed the terms of the agreement, has revised its 2017 exploration and appraisal budget from US$250 – 300 million, to $270 – 320 million.

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