South Pacific Resources Gets Unconventional Hydrocarbon Exploration Licences in PNG

Papua New Guinea has awarded five unconventional hydrocarbon exploration licences to South Pacific Resources.

The Australia listed company has been working with the PNG government to assess the country’s potential for shale gas. South Pacific has undertaken a significant amount of preliminary geological and geophysical work over the past five years in order to complete a country-wide assessment of the shale gas potential of PNG. The studies indicate the presence of good quality shales, often at shallow depths, and often close to existing and proposed infrastructure, the company said on Monday. “The preliminary conclusion from this work is that PNG has the potential for substantial unconventional oil and gas resources, possibly significantly greater in magnitude than the known conventional PNG oil and gas reserves.”

Company's 75-percent owned subsidiaries had lodged applications for five unconventional hydrocarbon prospecting licenses, covering 75,000 square kilometers. These are shales surrounding the producing Foldbelt oil and gas fields, shales surrounding the Hides, Juha and P’Nyang gas fields that presently provide gas for the PNG LNG project, shales surrounding the Elk / Antelope / Triceratops gas discoveries that comprise the proposed Papua LNG project, areas surrounding the proposed Stanley LNG project in Western Province and a large area of the Foreland where a number of stranded unconventional oil and gas fields presently sit.

“In recognition of the company’s ongoing work, and in order to satisfy the original undertakings made by the government at the time, the Minister for Petroleum and Energy has undertaken that his department shall review and consider the five South Pacific Resources applications first, for determination by the Petroleum Advisory Board,” the company stated.

In February, PNG government enacted new legislation to enable exploration for, and development of, unconventional oil and gas resources. Up until now exploration for unconventional sources of oil and gas in PNG has been specifically excluded under the Oil and Gas Act 1998. The passing of the PNG Unconventional Hydrocarbons Act allows PNG to join many other countries around the world in pursuing unconventional hydrocarbon exploration.




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