PNG eyes shale gas

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The National, Thursday July 7th, 2016

 Reports by MALUM NALU
THE country will venture into the development of unconventional hydrocarbons to allow for shale gas exploration and production, says Petroleum and Energy Minister Ben Micah.
He yesterday announced the major breakthrough which would have the potential to earn the country three times more money than the current conventional hydrocarbons.
Micah made the announcement in Port Moresby flanked by Petroleum and Energy acting secretary David Manau and Kumul Petroleum managing director Wapu Sonk.
“Legislation has been passed which will bring in unconventional gas,” he said.
“Unconventional gas, in simple terms, is known as shale gas.
“This is the gas that is now causing a major revolution. It has made the United States the biggest exporter of gas through this very significant unconventional gas or shale gas.
“The Americans have developed ways of getting it out of the source rocks – which has now contributed partly to the drop in oil prices.”
Micah said a review on the potential of unconventional hydrocarbons was first proposed to his predecessor William Duma in 2011. It was signed last week.
The instruments allow for significant blocks in Southern Highlands, Gulf and Western to be developed for unconventional gas.
Micah said the discoveries had the potential to triple available gas resources in the country.
“The department will be holding stakeholder workshops to establish how commercial arrangements can be reached with conventional gas holders, and proposed unconventional gas holders,” he said.
“I will be proposing to Cabinet for Kumul Petroleum, the State-owned oil and gas company, to play a leading role in developing this new unconventional hydrocarbon initiative.”