PNG exploration aimed at Alcan Gove gas

RIFT Oil expects to spud its Papua New Guinea exploration well, Puk Puk-1, in April. The well is targeting recoverable reserves of about 226 billion cubic feet of gas.
PNG exploration aimed at Alcan Gove gas PNG exploration aimed at Alcan Gove gas PNG exploration aimed at Alcan Gove gas PNG exploration aimed at Alcan Gove gas PNG exploration aimed at Alcan Gove gas

Puk Puk-1, which will be drilled in PPL 235 by the heli-portable Coral Sea-1 rig, was approved by PNG's Department of Petroleum and Energy as an obligatory exploration well targeting a separate structure located 25km from Rift’s Douglas gas discovery.

Puk Puk-1 is expected to be followed by the drilling of the Douglas-2 appraisal well, which is expected to provide information on the connectivity and extent of reserves in the Douglas structure.

The company hopes that results from this drilling will enable Rift to meet a gas supply memorandum of understanding with the energy-hungry Alcan Gove alumina refinery in the Northern Territory, according to Rift chairman Ian Gowrie-Smith.

"The proposed drilling, testing and seismic programs are important steps in our endeavour to establish a 1 trillion cubic feet reserve,” Gowrie-Smith said.

“The pressure is on Rift to establish itself as a viable source of Gove's energy requirements which are estimated to exceed $US10 billion over the next 20 years at current prices."

In its interim result statement in December last year, the company flagged the possibility that partner Austral Pacific Energy might not participate in the costs of drilling Puk Puk-1.

But following recent joint venture resolutions to accept the minimum work program and budget, Rift said it now expected Austral to pay its share of the well’s costs.

Rift owns a 65% stake in PPL235, which holds the Douglas gas discovery and the Puk Puk prospect; Austral Pacific holds the remaining 35%.

The Coral Sea-1 rig, which will be refurbished before drilling Puk Puk-1, is also owned by the JV.

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