Australian oil and gas exploration and production firm Rawson Resources Limited revealed Thursday the successful award of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Petroleum Prospecting License (PPL) 549, subject to the Company’s acceptance and the normal regulatory requirements. This is the first important step in the exciting exploration strategy the Company plans to implement in Papua New Guinea. Rawson Resources holds 100 percent interest in PPL 549 and the license has been awarded on a six year term, with a further 6 year renewal period. The first well commitment in the license is due in the fourth year (2020).
PPL 549 covers an area of 1,910 square miles (4,947 square kilometers) in the North New Guinea Aitape Basin. The Company is extremely encouraged by the numerous oil and gas seeps in the area, demonstrating the presence of an effective petroleum source. The Company believes both structural and stratigraphic play potential exists in the license area. The first phase of the work program will focus on validating previously identified reefal anomalies and the potential of clastic reservoirs in the license.
Previous exploration efforts have mapped reefal anomalies from seismic data and in the Company’s view, they are very attractive exploration targets. These reefs appear analogous to the major reefal carbonate reservoirs of the large producing fields of the Salawati Basin.
The Salawati Basin, in Irian Jaya, is located 559 miles (900 kilometers) to the west of PPL 549, with a similar oil type and potential source rock. The Salawati Basin holds an estimated 475 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) of proven hydrocarbon reserves and has been producing oil and gas since the 1930’s.
Structural traps also appear to exist along the southern margin of the Aitape Basin, in close proximity to oil seeps along the bounding fault zone.
Rawson Resources are excited by the variety of potential play types in the license providing breadth to the exploration focus.
Rawson has lodged two further north coast license applications and these licenses will give Rawson an excellent footprint to target this next frontier area in Papua New Guinea.
In addition to these frontier applications the Company also has two further applications under consideration. These are located in the Western Province close to the existing Stanley, Elevala, Ketu, Tingu and Ubuntu discoveries. The applications represent lower risk plays as evidenced by the number of successful exploration wells drilled in the area over recent years. If successfully awarded, these licenses will complement the higher-risk exploration opportunities in the North New Guinea Basin, building a strong portfolio for the Company in PNG.
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