The field development options study, commissioned from Upstream Petroleum (recently acquired by major Norwegian oil services company AGR), was received and reviewed by the PPL 235 joint venture parties in December. It covers a range of technologies for commercializing the Douglas gas discovery, and identifies several potentially economically viable options. Three of these options, two major longer-term markets and another smaller scale but more immediate commercialization opportunity, are now being actively pursued by Rift as PPL 235 license operator.
The forward plan for 2007 is to negotiate the principal terms and conditions precedent to commercialization agreements, and to establish adequate gas reserves to support progressing the field toward commercialization. Initially, this may require the drilling of two further wells--an appraisal well on Douglas North and an exploration well on Puk Puk, as well as the flow-testing of Douglas-1. The joint venture-owned rig that drilled Douglas-1 is being maintained in operational order on the Douglas-1 site, in preparation for this next phase program. The rig has also been offered out for tender to other resource companies, for drilling programs that can dovetail with Rift's own drilling plans.
Non-Executive Chairman, Ian Gowrie-Smith said : "We are very pleased with both the outcome of the seismic survey and the positive recommendations of the Upstream report. New technologies, combined with the advantageous location of the Douglas Gas Field with respect to access to regional markets, mean that there may be genuine opportunities to commercialize our discovery, completely independently of any other gas projects proposed in Papua New Guinea. We intend to aggressively pursue these opportunities during the coming year. Douglas was the first discovery made in Papua New Guinea under the new and more advantageous fiscal policy introduced in 2003, and we intend to be the first new field to achieve commercialization."
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