25 Jul 2012

PNG's Oil Search close to choosing partners for natural gas exploration

7:32 am on 25 July 2012

Papua New Guinea company, Oil Search, says it is close to deciding on a partner or partners for its natural gas exploration assets in PNG.

Oil Search, which is the largest producer of oil and gas in PNG, also maintained its full year production guidance when releasing its June quarter production report on Tuesday.

Oil Search chief executive Peter Botten has previously named Exxon Mobil and Shell as potential joint venture partners, with the company wanting an experienced liquefied natural gas operator to back its drilling activities.

The company is drilling in the Gulf of Papua and the highlands where new gas discoveries have already been made near its existing oil and gas producing assets.

The highlands drilling activities are connected to the huge LNG project - the largest resources project ever seen in the country and in which Oil Search is a 29 per cent partner.