Papua New Guinea hands out offshore acreage to Rawson

Australian exploration company Rawson Resources has been awarded the Petroleum Prospecting License (PPL) 560 in the Cape Vogel Basin offshore Papua New Guinea.

PPL 560 is the third license awarded to Rawson in Papua New Guinea, having already secured PPL 549 and PPL 391 in the Aitape Basin.

Rawson said on Wednesday it holds 60 percent interest and operatorship of PPL 560 and that the license award is subject to the company’s acceptance and regulatory requirements.

The license covers 4,680 square kilometers and has been awarded for a six-year term. It also has a six-year renewal period with the first well commitment due in 2020.

The company said that an independent resource assessment by Fekete Associates puts the total mean P50 resource potential at 6.5 Tcf of gas with the Buna prospect as potentially “the largest undrilled prospect in Papua New Guinea since the Elk-Antelope discovery”.

The coastal shallow water location of the license allows low-cost drilling of the major Buna structure utilizing a jack-up rig, with a large discovery capable of supporting a standalone LNG development.

Early seismic data in the area suggested the presence of a gas cap over the Buna structure. Rawson said that recent 2D seismic data appeared to confirm anomalies consistent with a gas-bearing reservoir at the structure as well as firming up additional prospects.

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