Located in petroleum retention license 3 in the North-West Highlands of Papua New Guinea, the well has been drilled to be total depth of 2,725m, confirming the southeast extension of the P’nyang field.

Oil Search said that the well has encountered gas in good-quality Toro and Digimu sands, while the Emuk sands appear to be largely water-bearing. The well is now being plugged and abandoned.

The license is operated by affiliates of Oil Search with 38.5% while other partners include ExxonMobil affiliates with 49% interest in the block and JX Nippon with 12.5% interest.

ExxonMobil Development Company president Liam Mallon said that the well results are being evaluated currently and the partners will assess the P’nyang field resource potential and development pathway.

Oil Search CEO Peter Botten said: “The PRL-3 Joint Venture is evaluating the well results, including the implications for 1C and 2C gas resource volumes in the field.

“Oil Search is confident that the well’s primary objective, to migrate 2C contingent gas resource to 1C contingent resource in this area and to support marketing and financing activities for LNG expansion, will be met.”

The partners are also working on selecting the field’s optimal development concept.

Mallon added: “When combined with our acquisition of InterOil, the increase in assessed reserves at Hides in the existing PNG LNG project and our recent Muruk discovery, this adds to our rapidly growing inventory of low cost of supply natural gas in Papua New Guinea.

“We are continuing with our active onshore and offshore exploration program in an effort to provide additional resources to expand existing and planned development projects.”