Oil Search encouraged by PNG gas discovery


Oil Search encouraged by PNG gas discovery


SYDNEY -- Oil Search said it had discovered modest quantities of natural gas during a new exploration campaign in Papua New Guinea (PNG), but that the find had encouraged it to continue drilling.

Oil Search began looking for gas in the Gulf of Papua this year as part of a campaign that may help it develop another gas export plant in the impoverished southeast Asian nation. The Australian company is already a major shareholder in the $19 billion Papua New Guinea LNG, export project led by Exxon Mobil.

Oil Search said in a statement that its Flinders and Hagana wells in the Gulf of Papua intersected good quality geological properties that may indicate the presence of larger resources nearby. Hagana is still drilling ahead to its target depth.

Although the volumes at Flinders and Hagana are likely to be relatively modest, the company has been sufficiently encouraged to take up a further well option and will drill the Kidukidu prospect once Hagana 1 is completed, the company said.

Separately, Oil Search said oil and gas output in the three months to June 30 2013, fell 9.7% from a year earlier to 1.63MMboe, but kept its annual guidance of between 6.2 and 6.7MMboe.

Dow Jones Newswires

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