SANTOS has described the Barikewa field as a significant PNG gas find after the Barikewa-3 well intersected 25 metres of net gas pay within the Toro and Hedinia reservoir objectives.

Santos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said the Barikewa-3 result is encouraging and confirms that there are significant natural gas resources close to PNG LNG infrastructure still to be developed.

“Barikewa is located approximately 10 kilometres from the PNG LNG gas pipeline and is therefore well placed to play a part in future LNG expansion projects,” Mr Gallagher said.

The company said reservoir quality exceeded pre-drill expectations and the appraisal well successfully intersected a gas-water contact in the Hedinia.

A drill-stem test was carried out across the Toro interval at 1,729 to 1,743 metres and flowed gas to surface at 35 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscf/d) on a 68/64” choke. On-site analysis of the gas from the drill-stem test and earlier wireline sampling confirms a dry gas with approximately 20% nitrogen and very low levels of other impurities, in line with pre-drill expectations.

The well, located in petroleum permit PRL9 n Papua New Guinea’s onshore Forelands region, reached total depth of 1,943 metres will be plugged and abandoned as planned upon completion of the test and data retrieval.

Santos has been exploring in Papua New Guinea since the 1980s, is a foundation partner in the PNG LNG Project and has identified PNG as one of its five core long-life natural gas assets for growth.

Mr Gallagher said Santos’ strategy in PNG is to work with its partners to align interests, and support and participate in backfill and expansion opportunities at PNG LNG.

Santos, through its wholly owned subsidiary Barracuda Limited, holds a 40% interest in the PRL9 joint venture, operated by Oil Search.