InterOil gauges gas while drilling in Papua New Guinea

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Dec. 31 -- InterOil Corp., Toronto, said its Antelope-1 exploration well in Papua New Guinea averaged 2-3 MMcfd of gas while drilling in the Miocene Antelope reef.

The Eastern Papuan basin well, which found the top of the reservoir at 5,735 ft, was drilling ahead at 5,892 ft on Dec. 31.

The gas flow came with full mud returns and 3,400 psi of back pressure on the formation. The flow rate reached as high as 15 MMcfd while circulating out gas kicks.

Reefal shallow marine facies were encountered with development of a coarser-grained dolomitized section of reservoir, the company said. The dolomitized section has good to very good visible matrix and vugular porosity in cuttings throughout.

The lower interval, associated with a major gas kick, had a sharp increase in dolomite averaging 80%.

Interoil estimated that it will encounter the base of the hydrocarbon column below the lowest known gas encountered in the Elk-4 well, equivalent to 7,858 ft in Antelope-1.

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