MELBOURNE, Sept. 22 -- Papua New Guinea Petroleum and Energy Minister Moi Avei has opened his country's new licensing round of 15 onshore and offshore blocks in Singapore.
This offering is the first large-scale release of petroleum exploration blocks in Papua New Guinea's history.
The offshore areas, which cover 107,000 ha in the Gulf of Papua, were drawn up with the assistance of newly acquired seismic data from the Fugro Group.
The area is regarded as frontier despite the discovery of Pasca and Pandora gas fields in the gulf during the 1980s. Even so, little exploration data are available.
The minister presented the blocks to a group of about 60 executives representing 30 companies. These included Chevron Corp., Petronas, Oil & Natural Gas Corp., Hunt Oil Co., Repsol YPF SA, Premier Oil PLC, and BG Group PLC.