Papua New Guinea's Minister of Petroleum and Energy, William Duma, has reiterated his government's preference for a major energy player to develop the Elk/Antelope resource.
Elk/Antelope is currently licensed to Canadian company Interoil - a company Mr Duma says is too small an entity to be able to do justice to the resource's potential.
Interoil's plan for developing the resource has been for a smaller scale project involving more smaller operators than Mr Duma says is required
"We've said that this is not what we agreed in the project agreement that we signed in 2009 and we are encouragement them quietly. Interoil itself is not a major oil company so it is in the interest of Interoil and ourselves so that we develop that project as soon as we can."
William Duma has welcomed the re-entry to PNG of Shell, which the government is understood to be eyeing up for taking the lead over Interoil.