Oil Search Wins Operatorship of 3 PNG Fields

Oil Search Ltd has been elected to succeed ChevronTexaco as operator of the Kutubu, Moran and Gobe oil fields in Papua New Guinea. Oil Search, which already runs the Hides gas-to-electricity project in Papua New Guinea will begin operating the fields that produce 53,000 barrels of oil per day in October. The planned changes follow ChevronTexaco's decision last month to sell its oil and gas interests in Papua New Guinea as it focuses on assets from which it expects greater growth.

Oil Search Managing Director Peter Botten said the decision to begin operating the Papua New Guinea oil projects followed a company review last year, which recommended it gain greater control over its core assets. "The assumption of operatorship of all of PNG's producing oil projects will provide the opportunity for Oil Search...to maximize the operating performance of these assets and drive future levels of activity," Botten said. The sale is expected to be completed by October of this year.