Muruk-1/ST2 was drilled in a north-easterly direction from the Muruk-1 wellbore to a depth of 3737m about 1km from the original gas discovery that was made last year.
The Toro reservoir in the sidetrack was found to be tightly folded and overturned at the Muruk-1/ST2 location.
Wireline logs and pressure data suggested that the reservoir in the fold was likely water bearing, suggesting potential reserves will likely not reach the upper end of the estimated 1-3 trillion cubic feet range.
It is a blow to the upside of Muruk, which sits north-west of the Hides gas field.
The partners hoped it could underpin Train 3 of the PNG LNG project without the headaches associated with the P'nyang field.
The discovery well was drilled to a depth of 3130m and encountered the reservoir quality Toro Formation sandstone exactly as expected, containing a mix of gas and condensate with no water contact observed.
The aim of the sidetrack was to locate the gas-water contact associated with the 350m gas column.
The presence of the Hides gas plant just 40km to the north-west, and the vital pipeline link to the PNG LNG plant near Port Moresby means Muruk is still likely become a vital part of any third train development.
The PPL 402 JV has now plugged back the well and kicked off Muruk-1/ST3 from 1765m downhole in the original wellbore in order to define the limits of the field to the south-west.
Muruk-1/ST3 will constrain the structural configuration of the southern flank of the Muruk structure and help define the lowest known gas.
This morning the well was at 2819m and preparing to run casing
Drilling at Muruk will be followed by the P'nyang South-2 appraisal well using the same Rig 104.
There is a prospect immediately to the north, Karoma, which may be drilled in 2018, depending on the results of the current drilling.
In all there are three prospects along trend with similar attributes to Muruk with a combined unrisked mean resource potential of 4-6Tcf.
The PPL 402 JV comprises Oil Search (37.5% and operator), ExxonMobil (42.5%) and Santos (20%)
Oil Search and ExxonMobil are also drilling the Antelope-7/ST1 well, looking for a deeper carbonate sequence below the existing field.
The well targeting the seismically-defined Antelope Deep prospect intersected the target at 2766m and 9m of core was cut for assessment. The well is now being deepened and is at a depth of 3226m.
The Elk-Antelope field is owned by Oil Search (22.8%), Total (40.1% and operator), ExxonMobil (36.5%) and minor partners (0.5%).