INTEROIL has found gas at a wildcat well which is a potential tie-back candidate for the Papua LNG project, the group has announced.

Located on Petroleum Retention Licence 39, the Triceratops 3 appraisal well flowed gas at 17.1 million standard cubic feet a day and 200.3 barrels of condensate a day during testing.

Stabilised flow rates were obtained over several five-hour intervals and were measured through a 72/64 inch choke with the flow constrained by tubing.

Having reached a total depth of 2,090 metres by August, the well had recovered 13 metres of core, company senior vice president of exploration Saxon Palmer said.

“Triceratops 3 will further appraise the field and – based on our latest estimates – has the potential to more than double that contingent resource volume.”

InterOil’s Elk-Antelope field is about 35 kilometres south east of the Triceratops 3 well – and as a result is considered a potential tie back candidate to the facility.

InterOil holds a 69 per cent interest in the well and is operator, while Pacific Rubiales Energy holds 13% and the remaining 18% is held by minority interests.

The news came after the Wahoo 1 sidetrack failed to hit a carbonate reservoir during a drilling campaign which started in June.

Wahoo 1 was a wildcat exploration well in PPL 474, located 170 kilometres south east of the Elk-Antelope gas hub in PRL 15 – suspended when it was originally drilled in 2014 due to unexpectedly high pressures and gas.

InterOil re-entered the well in June through a sidetrack to investigate a target the company believed to be a carbonate reservoir, Mr Palmer said.

“The maximum depth reached by sidetrack operations was 1,589 metres measured depth. This was below where the targeted zone was interpreted and no carbonate was intersected,” he said.

“We had previously indicated Wahoo was a high risk target but it was a well we wanted to drill.”

InterOil chief executive Michael Hession said the well has increased company knowledge in an under-explored area.

“It has confirmed a working hydrocarbon kitchen, the presence of thermogenic gas and an effective seal in the Orubadi mudstone,” he said.

“Information obtained from the well will assist in evaluating future targets in this frontier area.”