New Guinea Energy to fast-track PNG oil appraisal

New Guinea Energy Ltd., Sydney, intends to fast-track the drilling of its Panakawa oil prospect on the PPL267 onshore permit in the Papua New Guinea forelands.

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Mar. 9 -- New Guinea Energy Ltd., Sydney, intends to fast-track the drilling of its Panakawa oil prospect on the PPL267 onshore permit in the Papua New Guinea forelands.

The company has just completed a seismic survey in the wholly owned permit over an area containing an oil seep discovered in 2006.

The seismic data has delineated a fault-closed structure with 16.5 sq km of potential areal closure that the company's reservoir engineers suggest could contain around 187 million bbl of oil in the Cretaceous Toro sandstone reservoir.

The oil found flowing naturally to surface in 2006 at an estimated rate of 5 b/d had an API gravity of 35° rather than the traditional 55° oil found in the PNG highlands. The company has spent $7 million (Aus.) over the last 3 years evaluating the region, and it plans to begin a drilling program in late 2009.

The Panakawa prospect is located just 1 km from the Panakawa logging and veneer timber plant wharf on the navigable Fly River which is used to export products direct to international markets via ships and barges. New Guinea Energy will be able to deliver the rig and equipment directly from barges to the drill site without the use of helicopters—a boon for logistics of the operation.

Target depth of the reservoirs is a relatively shallow 2,500 m.

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