ASX-listed Horizon Oil reports that participants in the high profile PDL-10 Petroleum Development Licence have received a second notice of intention to cancel the licence from the PNG Petroleum Minister, Fabian Pok.

The new notice of intention to cancel for PDL-10 and Pipeline Licence 10 (PL-10) follows a similar letter from the Petroleum Minister in May.

In that instance, the Petroleum Minister subsequently convened a meeting of the PDL-10 joint venture participants to review the progress of development planning in the licence. At that meeting, the Minister committed to take no action with respect to the licences before 1 October 2018 until such time as the participants had further presented to him on the status of development planning for PDL 10 and the broader Western Province gas aggregation scheme.

The latest notification, Spanish global energy company Repsol, operator of PDL-10, received further notices of intent to cancel PD- 10 and PL-10 and a notice to terminate the Stanley Gas Agreement for PDL-10 on January 4, 2019.

The Minister has invited the participants to show cause by 25 July 2018 as to why the licences should not be cancelled.

Repsol has recently notified that it intends to leave PNG to focus on its other international assets.

Horizon Oil CEO CEO Michael Sheridan told shareholders it has formed the view that each of the Purported Notices is without merit.

“Further, and similar to the earlier notices, Horizon Oil has formed the view that the notices of intention to cancel the licences are procedurally invalid,” Mr Sheridan said.

“Horizon Oil intends, together with Repsol and the other PDL 10 joint venture participants, to continue to work with the Petroleum Minister and the Department of Petroleum and Energy to resolve any misunderstanding with respect to the good standing of PDL-10, PL-10 and the Stanley Gas Agreement, but without compromise to its legal rights.”