HORIZON Oil has spudded a well in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province in the hope of encountering gas on a par with the nearby Stanley Development.

The company spudded the Nama 1 exploration well in PPL 259 on 4 December, and is running an 18.625 inch casing following drilling of the 24 inch conductor hole.

The well is located about 20 kilometres east of the Stanley development, in which Horizon said all wells had found condensate-rich gas.

Nama 1, being drilled by the Parker Rig 226, is expected to take about 36 days to reach the company’s planned total depth of 3,434 metres.

“If successful, the Nama prospect has the potential to be about the same size as the Stanley field (certified at 399 billion cubic feet of gas and 13 million barrels of condensate),” Horizon said.

The company is operating the project through its subsidiary Ketu Petroleum, which holds a 35 per cent stake in the prospect.

Other partners in the block are Eaglewood Energy, with a 45% stake, and Osaka Gas Niugini and Mega Fortune International – each with 10%.