Oil Search in a statement confirmed that joint venture (JV) partners have nominated Total E&P PNG Ltd as operator, effective this month.
The company said this followed unanimous vote by all JV participants at end of February to appoint Total as operator, subject to terms of the JV operating agreement. An operator transition agreement had been agreed between Total and former operator, InterOil.
Under this agreement, InterOil would drill Antelope 4 sidetrack well, which was expected to start drilling shortly.
Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said: “Given the importance of Papua LNG to Oil Search and PNG, supporting Total and working closely and collaboratively with InterOil, governments and landowners towards the earliest practicable development of the Elk-Antelope field is a key priority for Oil Search.”