Twinza Oil (PNG) Limited Gas project development manager Eric Kowa said they hoped to begin production at the Pasca gas field, about 90 kilometres from Orokola Bay in Gulf then.
The Pasca gas field is Petroleum Prospecting License 328.
“We are progressing towards a development licence. The development will come in two phases,” he said.
“The first one will be the production of condensate and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). Phase Two will have other Pandora, which is the other discovered gas. We’ll look at monetising that as well. That will take time. If that goes to plan and we get all the support that we need, we are looking at gas production in the first half of 2020.
“It’s about 90 kilometres from Orokolo Bay into the Gulf of Papua in about 93 metres of water. It’s not deep compared to other developments around the world but it’s certainly the first for our country.”
Kowa said the project would cost about US$300 million.
“We are looking at (at least) US$20 million (K62.57 million) to drill the well. But by the time we are finished with the facilities, into first production, we’ll be looking at spending at least US$250 million (K782.17) – US$300 million (K938.61m), foreign direct investment,” Kowa said.
“The licence at Pasca field right now is 100 per cent owned by Twinza, until such time when government takes its State interest as per the Oil and Gas Act (1998).”
On landownership, Kowa said under the Oil and Gas Act, “you have to conduct a study and commission a study called social mapping and landowner identification study”.
“At the conclusion of the study, at 90 to 95km out into the ocean, there is no guarantee of landownership,” he said.
“So that means the prerogative is on either the provincial government or state government. It’s something for the two governments to decide how they handle this.
“However they handle that will set a precedent to other future development offshore, on how the ownership aspect should be handled. That means the government by law, in oil and gas projects, takes up 20.5 per cent equity stake in a new project that are going to development phase.
“There’s a two per cent that the government also carry, and by law that freely is for the landowners.
“In a case like ours, it is going to be an interesting discussion as to how the government does that.”.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL