InterOil Corporation announced it had started drilling the Wahoo-1 exploration well in Papua New Guinea following approval by the Papua New Guinea Department of Petroleum and Energy.
Wahoo-1 is the second of four exploration wells InterOil plans to drill in the Gulf Province over the next 12-15 months.
Additionally, InterOil will drill up to four appraisal wells on the Elk-Antelope and Triceratops discoveries under a US$300 million exploration and appraisal program.
The drilling program is one of the largest in Papua New Guinea and is part of InterOil’s exploration of four new petroleum prospecting licenses (PPL) granted last week by the government of Papua New Guinea.
The licenses – PPLs 474, 475, 476 and 477 – are valid for six years and cover the same area as PPLs 236, 237 and 238, which were previously held by InterOil.
Unlocking resource wealth
Nixon Duban, Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Petroleum and Energy, commented, “The drilling of Wahoo-1 is good news for PNG. We are excited at the potential of these exploration licenses and the wealth that could be unlocked. We hope the results live up to expectations. And we look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with InterOil for many years to come.”
Michael Hession, InterOil Corporation Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We take great pride in providing work for more than 1100 people in seismic and drilling, with another 300 expected to be taken on later this year. We are delighted that our commitment to the country has been recognized through the continued support of the National and Provincial Governments, and Mr. Duban, the newly appointed Petroleum and Energy Minister, as we work to develop Papua New Guinea’s resources for the benefit of all Papua New Guineans and our shareholders.”