By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
OIL Search managing director Dr Keiran Wulff says there is a possibility that the company may temporarily shut down or limit oil production in the country.
Dr Wulff highlighted this at the opening of 2020 Macquarie Australia Conference, a three-day investor event which began on Tuesday.
A company spokesperson yesterday told The National that at the end of Dr Wulff’s presentation, he answered questions relating to oil production in PNG.
“He noted that it was prudent for Oil Search to consider all options to ensure safe delivery of LNG production, including the possibility of temporarily shutting in, or curtailing, oil production, subject to regulatory approvals,” the spokesperson said.
“Dr Wulff stated that right now we are currently looking at whether we will continue all production – at this stage it is our intention to do so.
“He also said that Oil Search had been working closely with the PNG Government as well as discussing potential options with joint venture partners.”
The spokesperson said no decision had been made to stop production in PNG, and that the current intent was to continue producing oil.
Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd managing director Wapu Sonk said Oil Search, as the operator of Kutubu, PDL (petroleum development license) 2, and ExxonMobil, as the operator of the PNG LNG project, were talking to Department of Petroleum and Energy seeking approval to re-inject condensate or oil into the depleted Kutubu reservoirs as storage.
Sonk told The National yesterday that this was due to the shortage in global oil storage facility or tankers.
“This will allow the continued production of gas for LNG production while we store oil until such time the demand for oil picks up and the storage capacity issues are at manageable levels where Oil Search can produce back the stored oil which hopefully will be also at a time when oil price will have recovered,” he said.
Sonk said KPHL had agreed to go down this path.
By SHIRLEY MAULUDU