ExxonMobil Expands Operatorship in PNG

Esso Highlands Limited, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corporation, has expanded its operatorship role in Papua New Guinea. This follows ChevronTexaco's notification last month that it intends to sell its interests in its PNG joint ventures.

Esso Highlands has been elected by the joint venture participants to be operator of the PRL 2 and PRL 3 retention licenses, which contain the Juha and P'nyang gas discoveries respectively. "Esso Highlands continues as operator of the PNG Gas Project and now operates seven of the eleven production, exploration and retention licenses in which it has equity in PNG," said PNG Gas Project coordinator, Dr Doug Schwebel.

Oil Search Limited has been elected operator of the oil fields in PDL 2 and PDL 4 (Moran/Kutubu and Gobe). When the PNG Gas Project proceeds, Esso Highlands will work with Oil Search to manage the transition from oil operations to gas in these license areas.

Esso Highlands holds interests in four production licenses, PDL1 (operator), PDL 2, PDL 4, PDL 5 (operator). It also has interests in seven exploration and retention licenses PRL 1, PPL219, PPL 233 (operator), PRL2 (new operator), PRL 3 (new operator), PRL12 (operator), PRL 11 (operator).