InterOil produces record gas flow at Antelope

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Dec. 2 -- InterOil Corp., Cairns, has surpassed its previous record-high gas flow rate in its onshore Antelope field in Papua New Guinea with an impressive 705 MMcfd flow rate from the Antelope-2 appraisal gas well.

The gas flow was accompanied by 11,200 b/d of condensate.

InterOil noted that the surface flowing tubing pressure during the test was 1,258 psi through a 6-in. choke that was opened to 4 3/8 in.

Antelope-2 was drilled to evaluate the southern extent of the Antelope reef reservoir.

In March, the company flowed gas from Antelope-1 at 382 MMcfd and 5,000 b/d of condensate in March.

Antelope-2 was foreshadowed in September when the company said it had encountered the top of the reservoir about 345 ft higher than predrill estimates.

At the time, InterOil Chief Executive Officer Phil Mulacek said the additional 345 ft of reservoir could result in a meaningful increase in gas estimates.

In mid-November, just prior to the latest test, InterOil said that logging results in the well suggested a 373-m gross gas and liquids column had been interpreted in the upper section of the Antelope carbonate reef.

It added that the dolomite and limestone reservoir appeared to have better average porosity than at Antelope-1.

Following the massive test flow, InterOil says the result confirms Papua New Guinea as a world-class gas resource base close to the well developed Asian LNG market. Antelope-2 and previous wells have confirmed more than 1.2 bcfd of productive capacity.

The high condensate ratio at the top of the Antelope reservoir has added to the field’s economic viability and is likely to be produced via a liquids stripping operation.

Put with previous discoveries at the nearby Elk field, the company’s reservoir engineers estimate total reserves of up to 10 tcf of gas. Independent estimates are now being conducted.

InterOil and partners Petromin PNG Holdings and Pacific LNG are pushing ahead with proposals for an LNG development after submitting a project agreement to the Papua New Guniea government.

Both Prime Minister Michael Somare and Minister for Petroleum and Energy William Duma have voiced their support for the $6 billion (Aus.), two-train LNG plant to be built near InterOil’s Napa Napa refinery in Port Moresby. It will have the capacity to produce 9 million tonnes/year of LNG.

InterOil has selected Bechtel to carry out front-end engineering and design and engineering, procurement, and contracting work for the LNG plant. In addition, the JV had also chosen ConocoPhillips’s optimized cascade process technology for the plant design.

First production from the project is scheduled for yearend 2014 or early 2015.

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