Oil Search Expects to Resume Oil Production in PNG Early Next Week

Papua New Guinea (PNG)-incorporated Oil Search is aiming to resume oil production early next week following a suspension of oil loading on July 26, 2012, the company said Friday.

Oil Search had released a statement on August 3, 2012, which detailed a minor spill that took place at the Kumul Marine offloading terminal. A "small release of oil", said Oil Search, was seen on the sea surface next to the terminal during the loading of a tanker on July 26, 2012. Loading operations were suspended on the same day.

The company issued a follow-up statement on August 10, 2012, which noted that it was carrying out inspection works at the platform of the Kumul Marine offloading terminal.

Oil Search confirmed on the same day that "production from the PNG oil fields remain largely shut-in on Friday, with current output at around 5,000 barrels per day."

Oil Search confirmed on Friday that it has carried out a comprehensive testing program of the Kumul Marine terminal loading system, including an inspection of the tanker loading line.

"Physical inspection and analysis of line integrity … found no source of any leak in the oil export system," the company said in its statement.

The company was unreachable for further details on Friday.

Oil Search is PNG's largest oil and gas producer and the company operates all of PNG's producing oil and gas fields. The company holds a 60.05 percent interest in the permits petroleum development licence-2 (PDL-2) and pipeline licence-2 (PL-2). Oil Search stated on its website that as of December 31, 2011, the onshore PDL-2 permit has remaining recoverable reserves of 27.3 million barrels of 45 degree API light, sweet crude. 

The other stakeholders of PDL-2 are: ExxonMobil (14.52%), Merlin Petroleum Company (18.69%) and Petroleum Resources (Kutubu) (6.75%).



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