11 Jul 2005

PNG fiscal regime wins praise from oil exploration firm

1:55 pm on 11 July 2005

Oil and gas exploration company Austral Pacific Energy Limited says an attractive fiscal regime in Papua New Guinea helps make it a good place to carry out exploration activities.

Austral Pacific is preparing to drill a well in the Foreland area of Western Province later this year.

The firm's Wellington based chief executive officer, Dr Dave Bennett, says Papua New Guinea moved to a more attractive fiscal regime governing the State's mineral assets a couple of years ago.

He says it's helped make PNG a good place for firms such as his to carry out exploration.




Exploration is in the nature of a cooperation between the nation state -- Government, the people and the explorer. There has to be a level of cooperation, and I think there is a hgih degree of awareness in Papua New Guinea that oil and gas exploration is important to the wellbeing of the country and the economy and that being the case, politically and in the bureaucracy there's really a very positive attitude towards facilitating oil and gas exploration.

Dr Bennett says the dry-hole or basic cost of drilling the Douglas well near Lake Murray is between eight and nine million US dollars.