Exxon Mobil Corporation announced yesterday (28 December) a new natural gas discovery in Papua New Guinea. The company said it has a 42.5 percent stake in the country’s LNG Project with the rest of the interest being owned by Oil Search Ltd and Santos Ltd, with Oil Search as the operator. “We are excited by the results of the Muruk-1 exploration well, which confirms the presence of hydrocarbons in the same high-quality sandstone reservoirs as the Hides field that underpins the PNG LNG project,” Steve Greenlee, President of ExxonMobil Exploration Company, commented.
The Papua New Guinea (PNG) LNG Project is a 6.9 million ton per annum integrated LNG project operated by ExxonMobil PNG. The gas is sourced from seven fields, including the Hides, Angore and Juha gas fields. The resource industry in Papua New Guinea is experiencing an unprecedented period of activity and growth, which has also helped protect the country from the negative consequences of the economic crisis. Gas exploration is at all-time high and already in 2014 the country and investors said that it was very likely that new fields would be found within 5 years.
The country has been very successful in attracting many foreign companies in their resource sector. Apart from Exxon, Talisman and its joint venture partners are also very active in the southwestern regions of the country. Talisman is now part of the Spanish integrated oil company Repsol. In contrast, Oil Search and Exxon Mobil are focused on Fold Belt, which follows a northwest-southeast trend in the central part of the mainland incorporating the existing oilfields and the Hides/Angore/Juha gas fields.