A new discovery in the New Guinea North Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has the potential to extend the recently opened PNG LNG plant in Port Moresby with a fifth production train.
In December 2016, Oil Search Limited, operator of block PPL 402 in the Papuan Fold Belt, announced that its Muruk 1 well had encountered high quality sandstone reservoirs in its primary objective, the Toro Formation. The sandstones are very similar to those in the Hides gas field, about 20 km to the south-east, which has an estimated 5.3 Tcfg 2C reserves and is the largest field in the country. Muruk 1 was spudded on November 2, 2016 and reached TD of 3,130m at the end of December. Evaluation is underway to determine the size of the discovery, but initial reports put it in the region of 2 Tcfg.
The Muruk discovery is close to PNG LNG infrastructure and it would be easy to hook into the infrastructure and pipeline which takes gas from the highland fields to the LNG plant in Port Moresby about 650 km to the south-east. Oil Search have a 37.5% interest in the 510 km2 block, with ExxonMobil holding 42.5% and Santos, 20%.