OIL and gas company, InterOil Corporation, announced that it will shortly begin drilling the first of up to eight wells in Gulf Province as part of a US$325 million (K816 million) drilling program.
The company, in a paid statement yesterday, said the first wells are Wahoo 1 in petroleum prospecting license (PPL) 236, raptor 1 in PPL 237, Bob Cat 1 in PPL 238 and Antelope 4 in PRL 15, which contains InterOil’s Elk-Antelope gas field.
InterOil said each well is expected to take at least two months to drill. The whole drilling campaign is planned to begin in March and will take 12-15 months.
The company said it is mobilising drilling rigs for the work and the acquisition of seismic data under way across licences to support the drilling.
InterOil has collected about 192km of two-dimensional seismic date over PPL 237 and PPL 238 since 2013, and is expecting to collect a further 162km over Elk-Antelope by mid-year.
About 700 people are working on the seismic program now and about 500 are expected to be employed during the drilling program.
Drilling pads for each of the first three wells have been laid in the mountainous Gulf Province and near the coast in the Gulf of Papua.
Camps are being established at each site and drilling equipment is being taken to the sites by six helicopters and three barges.
The drilling rigs are taken apart on the lowlands and lifted in 4.5 tonne pieces for assembly at each drilling site.
When drilling is finished, the rigs will be taken apart and lifted out by helicopter, again in 4.5 tonne pieces.
InterOil is also supporting local communities there through several community projects in the areas of education, health and others.