Palmer eyes a 'North West Shelf' in PNG

RESOURCES entrepreneur Clive Palmer says the 3D seismic results for his offshore tenement in Papua New Guinea’s Gulf of Papua identified a potential $US35 billion gas region that may rival Western Australia’s North West Shelf.
Palmer eyes a 'North West Shelf' in PNG Palmer eyes a 'North West Shelf' in PNG Palmer eyes a 'North West Shelf' in PNG Palmer eyes a 'North West Shelf' in PNG Palmer eyes a 'North West Shelf' in PNG

Last year Palmer told PNG Report magazine that he decided to self-fund the seismic campaign after abandoning a joint venture proposal from PNG LNG project operator ExxonMobil around late 2011.

"Exxon approached us to do a joint venture, which we never went ahead with," Palmer said in the November edition of PNG Report.

"We decided to do the 3D seismic ourselves."

Costing $50 million, Palmer is excited about the initial results of the seismic campaign.

"The asset could be worth in excess of $US35 billion and is potentially one of the world's largest gas fields," Palmer said.

"The results of the studies are extremely favourable and show this new Papua New Guinea gas region could possibly be as significant a resource area as the North West Shelf in WA.

"The new region is located on the northern end of the Gulf of Papua and is close to Exxon Mobil's LNG project in Papua New Guinea."

The seismic covered an area of more than in licence PPL 381, one of Palmer's three offshore licences, with analysis conducted by Robertson, a subsidiary of the geoscience-specialising CGG Group.

"The evaluation of the 3D seismic surveys identified a significant number of prospects in PPL 381," Palmer said.

"Robertson estimated that at a P50 level there was approximately 47 trillion cubic feet in place with 28Tcf being in the recoverable category."

Palmer further said the PNG government had provided strong support to "help take the Gulf of Papua gas project forward".

The multimillionaire, who is playing a hand in the 2013 Australian federal election under his Palmer United Party, wholly owns PPL 381 under his company Palmer Petroleum, which used to be named Chinampa Exploration.

Other big petroleum news in PNG this week was InterOil's announcement that its negotiations with Exxon over a buying a large stake of its Elk-Antelope discoveries in Gulf province were no longer subject to an exclusivity arrangement.

Exxon previously revealed it was seeking 4.6Tcf from Elk-Antelope to support a third train expansion of PNG LNG, with the project expected to make its first exports in 2014.

An Oil Search-led offshore drilling campaign in the Gulf of Papua, based on 3D seismic results, has not clocked up commercial hydrocarbons from two wells so far, with drilling of the last well, Kidukidu-1, underway.


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