THE National Government has awarded Oil Search Ltd (OSL) with seven mineral exploration licences (EL) for coal seam gas (CSG).
The EL covers about 17,500sqkm of area at the Strickland basin, PNG Foreland, in Western province.
The seven ELs are: ELA1725, ELA1726, ELA1720, ELA1721, ELA1722, ELA1723, and ELA1724.
OSL will investigate coal seam gas (CSG) production from coaliferous lithologies present within the Pliocene/Pleistocene era formation.
In a statement, Oil Search said under the award’s terms, it had committed about US$5 million (K14 million) over two years on the evaluation of existing data within the seven licences and the drilling and sampling of three shallow wells.
The company then had the option to extend the licences for an additional two years, subject to relinquishments and an additional committed work programme.
It holds 100% equity in all seven licences which are located in the PNG Foreland.
Existing well data in the area was limited, but suggested the presence of thick coal layers and a large coal basin in this area.
The rank, gas content and producibility of the coals would be constrained by the proposed drilling programme.