PNG explorer ventures into drilling services

NEW Guinea Energy’s half owned subsidiary Western Drilling Limited expects to soon take delivery of a heli-portable rig suitable for hydrocarbon exploration in Papua New Guinea’s foreland area and Western Province.
PNG explorer ventures into drilling services PNG explorer ventures into drilling services PNG explorer ventures into drilling services PNG explorer ventures into drilling services PNG explorer ventures into drilling services

The purchase of the OIME SL & 1000 helicopter rig was announced back in March.

The mechanically-powered rig can be flown over jungle-laden and mountainous terrain with a medium-lift helicopter in loads of less than 4 tons.

By fitting a top-drive the rig is expected to hit the right mix of portability and capability for drilling in PNG's foreland area.

But WDL also views that the right customisation will make the rig an extremely cost-effective option for Western Province, where at least 12 wells are expected to be drilled over the next three years.

"There will be an unprecedented level of drilling activity in PNG for intermediate depth wells of between 1800 and 3000 metres," NGE said in its recent quarterly report.

The Parker Drilling Rig 226 is drilling the Siphon-1 well in Western Province for operator Talisman Energy.

The well reached a depth of 855m in its first week of drilling as of Monday, and the total planned depth is 3783m.

Half-owned by NGE and Talisman, the well is targeting a wet gas prospect about 10 kilometres northeast of the Stanley-1 gas condensate discovery held by Talisman and Horizon Oil.

With the Siphon-1 well located in PPL 269, NGE applied to PNG's Department of Energy to extend this licence period and exploration program on May 13.

NGE also filed applications to extend neighbouring PPL 268 in May and PPLs 266 and 267 in February.

PNG Petroleum Minister William Duma was ousted and replaced by Francis Potape last month and changes to the DPE might cause some additional licence approval delays.

Potape has since criticised InterOil's liquefied natural gas plans in Gulf province and expressed opposition to introducing floating LNG technology to the country.

The other half of WDL is owned by NGE non-executive director Sir Michael Bromley through a private company.

Disclaimer: Aspermont Publishing owns shares in New Guinea Energy.


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