Antelope partners with Papuan basin

THE Eastern Papuan Basin located in the Gulf of Papua, where InterOil is based, is clearly a classic "emerging province", says Mr Michael Hession, chief executive officer of InterOil Corporation.

Speaking at a breakfast hosted by Papua New Guinea Chapter of Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) last Friday, sponsored by InterOil and National Petroleum Company of PNG, Mr Hession explained: "Why is PNG and the Eastern Papuan Basin so exciting? First, it’s in the rocks."

He said PNG is dominated by the heavily explored Western Papuan Basin and the lightly explored Eastern Papuan Basin.

The two basins are separated by a major geological feature or fault.

The CEO said each basin evolved differently over millions of years and each has different geological components.

Despite their significant differences they both produce hydrocarbons.

The Western Papuan Basin is where Oil Search Ltd and ExxonMobil have been heavily exploring with 280 wells and several large discoveries such as Hides, Juha and Kutubu.

In contrast, the Eastern Papuan Basin is where InterOil is a big player and has about 65 wells.

"We have had key discoveries at Elk, Triceratops, Raptor, and above all, Antelope. We think there’s more to come," he stressed.

Mr Hession stated that a second reason for the excitement about PNG is the licence area InterOil and its partners hold covering about 16,000sqkm, which nearly half the Gulf Province.

"With these licences comes an obligation for us to explore and develop thoroughly, quickly and efficiently.

"It is an obligation to PNG that we take seriously," Mr Hession said.

This has resulted in the largest exploration and appraisal drilling campaign in the country’s history.

"Over the past decade we have invested more than $150 million (K384.7 million) in seismic acquisition alone and have more onshore coverage than any other company in PNG.

"This month, we continued that work by kicking off a program that will increase our total seismic coverage by 50 per cent, or more than 750 kilometres in just one year.

"This work is providing about 1500 jobs for Papua New Guineans.

"In addition, we are planning an aerial survey across all of our acreage using high-resolution technology that will help to pin-point our drilling targets," Mr Hession said.
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