Papua New Guinea

Exploration Analysis

In June 1992, Papua New Guinea joined the ranks of oil-exporting nations, following more than eighty years of searching for commercial hydrocarbon accumulations. Operators, particularly Chevron, have drilled an impressive string of discoveries of oil and condensate close to the Kutubu development project that is currently supplying all of the country’s oil exports.

As of January 1, 1994, recoverable reserves were 233 MMBBLS of oil and 15 TCF of natural gas; production was 124,000 BOPD, primarily from the Kutubu complex. Recent technical studies have indicated that the ultimate recoverable gas reserves for the Papuan Basin could be in the range of 25 TCF of natural gas.

There are five sedimentary basins in Papua New Guinea. These are: The Papuan North New Guinea, Vape Vogel, New Ireland, and Bougainville basins. Most of the exploration activity and all of the discoveries to date have been in the Papuan Basin. The other basins are virtually unexplored.

Acreage availability along the most prospective trends is somewhat limited. There are, however, several possibilities of farm-ins in view of the high costs and risks associated with the exploration in the Papuan foldbelt. Numerous opportunities exist in all the other basins. A pipeline connecting many in the discoveries of the foldbelt was completed in 1992. This pipeline transports crude oil from a production center located in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea to a marine terminal on the Gulf of Papua.

There are no refineries but proposals have been accepted by the government for two refineries with a cumulative output of 60,000 BOPD. Since present internal consumption runs to only 8,500 BOPD, all of the refined products can also be exported.

For more information contact:

Leslie Sears
Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.
500, 736- 8th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 1H4

Phone: (403) 218-1618
Fax: (403) 262-9135

This summary, part of Petrel Robertson’s 1995 summary of exploration and development opportunities in 31 countries around the world, has not been updated. Some of the information, particularly relating to political and economic issues, is thus out of date. It is included, however, to demonstrate the breadth and depth of Petrel’s work in each of these nations.

Copyright © 2014 Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.