Fugro aims to open up new PNG offshore frontier

GEOPHYSICAL survey major Fugro is currently undertaking Papua New Guinea’s largest-ever regional seismic survey, the non-exclusive Lahara 2D survey in the Gulf of Papua.

Fugro consultant Stanley Pono, formerly a PNG Department of Petroleum and Energy geophysicist and assistant director, told EnergyReview.net that Fugro believed the region was highly prospective.

“We are seeing a lot that we hadn’t seen before,” Pono said the APPEA national conferenceon the Gold Coast last week.

“There are a number of big structures at various stratigraphic levels, including a couple that are up to 3km thick. These structures can hold a lot of oil and gas and we believe the region is prospective for both.”

Almost 30 companies have expressed interest already, according to Pono. Some were majors, while others were smaller independents, and most were already operating in PNG or Australia.

Exploration in the Gulf of Papua has been sporadic and mainly focused on shallow water prospects, but this survey covers areas that vary from 30m deep in the west to more than 2500m deep in east, according to Pono.

“This is the biggest program ever undertaken in PNG, and it is being carried out in a frontier area where no data exists,” he said.

“We hope to open up a new frontier basin and change perceptions.”

The survey has been set up to help the PNG Government push the release of 15 new blocks in its first formal petroleum licensing round. Pono and his colleagues were at the APPEA event to promote the block release and give a presentation on the survey.

A roadshow will be run in the third quarter of this year, just before the bid round opens. Presentations are planned for Singapore, Calgary, Houston, London and Perth.

The tender will close in the third quarter of next year and the successful bids will be announced shortly afterwards.

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