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Inpex sheds interest in PNG block

By  Sunday, 11 June 2017 21:37
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Japanese exploration and production company Inpex said it has sold 40.1% participating interest in the onshore production block PDL3 in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to Kumul Petroleum. 

The interest is held by its joint venture Tokyo-based Southern Highlands Petroleum, in which Inpex holds a 10% share.

Inpex acquired shares in the block in 1990 through investing in Southern Highlands.

It has taken part in production and operation activities in the SE Gobe oil field in the Papuan basin, which straddles PDL3 and the adjacent block PDL4.

PDL3 is approximately 450km northwest of Port Moresby, the capital of PNG. As of December 2016, the project produced 900 bbl/d of oil and 40 MMscf of natural gas.

Kumul already holds 5.6% interest in the Santos-led (15.9%) block, along with joint venture partners Oil Search (36.4%) and Southern Highlands (40.1%).

This is Inpex's second asset sale for the year. In March, the Ichthys liquefied natural gas operator decided to sell its Indonesian subsidiary, Inpex Natuna, to PT Medco Daya Sentosa.

Medco is a subsidiary of PT Medco Energi Internasional Tbk., a listed Indonesian energy company.

Inpex Natuna holds 35% participating interest in the South Natuna Sea block B, located 1200km north of Jakarta, Indonesia, in the Natuna Sea where the water depth is approximately 50-55m.

The average production rate for the block for the year 2016 was approximately 20,000 bbl/d of crude oil, 197 MMscf/d of natural sales gas and 6000 bbl/d of liquefied petroleum gas.

The block’s participating interest ratio prior to the sales of shares is Inpex 35%, Medco E&P Natuna 40% (operator) and Chevron 25%.

This sale comes after Inpex signed a series of agreements in the same month, concerning the transfer of operations for the offshore Mahakam block with Pertamina and Total.

Inpex is currently engaged in the development and production of oil and natural gas in the Mahakam block in partnership with Total, the operator.

Both companies are pursuing discussions with Pertamina and the Indonesian government authorities with the aim of participating in the Mahakam block after the current production sharing contract expires at the end of 2017.

The agreement will see the transfer of operatorship from Total to Pertamina and includes measures to facilitate the latter’s steady operations as operator in the Mahakam block from January 2018.

Image: Blocks PDL3 and PDL4 location / Inpex

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