png-res-q3-2016_02IN an agreement announced in mid-September, Oil Search has entered into agreements with CNOOC subsidiary Gini Energy Limited to acquire a 40% interest in two offshore petroleum prospecting licences – PPL-374 and PPL-375.

The two licences are located approximately 150 km south of Port Moresby in the deepwater section of the Gulf of Papua and cover a combined area of 24,936 sq. km, with water depths ranging between 1,000m and 2,500m.

png-res-q3-2016_03ExxonMobil will also acquire a 40% interest in each licence while Gini will retain a 20% interest in each licence. Subject to conditions precedent, operatorship of both licences will transfer from Gini to ExxonMobil.

Oil Search managing director, Peter Botten, said the company had undertaken in-depth research before electing to take up an interest in this frontier exploration area.

“During 2015/16, we undertook a comprehensive study of exploration opportunities in PNG. This work identified the offshore Papuan Gulf as an area where there is significant gas potential, with several multi-tcf gas leads and prospects already delineated in these licences,” Mr Botten said.

“We are delighted to be partnering with ExxonMobil, which has significant experience in exploration and production in deep water, and we also welcome the opportunity to work with CNOOC Limited for the first time.

“Entering these licences is consistent with the Company’s strategy to focus on areas that have the potential to support the company’s expanding LNG portfolio.”

CNOOC Limited is the largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas in China and one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the world. The Group mainly engages in exploration, development, production and sale of crude oil and natural gas.

The Group’s core operation areas are Bohai, Western South China Sea, Eastern South China Sea and East China Sea in offshore China.

Overseas, the Group has oil and gas assets in Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Oceania and Europe.

As at December 31, 2015, the Group owned net proved reserves of approximately 4.32 billion BOE, and its average daily net production was 1,358,022 BOE.The Group had total assets of approximately RMB664.4 billion.