|Talisman 'in PNG sale' Canada's Talisman Energy is reported to have put stakes in licences in Papua New Guinea that contain nearly 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas up for sale. |
News wires 28 December 2011 10:00 GMT
Talisman said it has appointed Sydney-based advisory RFC Corporate Finance to find an investor for four licences in the forelands of western Papua New Guinea, which contain a mix of gas discoveries and exploration targets.
"Our intent was always to seek a strategic partner in what is a very large licence interest position, once sufficient resources have been aggregated," Dave Mann, a spokesman for Calgary-based Talisman, told Dow Jones Newswires. "RFC represents a formal process to execute on this."
Talisman said it is seeking to sell part of its stakes in the PPL 235 and PPL 261 licences, both of which are wholly owned, and the PRL 4 and PRL 21 licences where it has large interests of 50% and 40%, respectively.
It acquired the PPL 235 licence in 2009 through the US$177 million takeover of Rift Oil PLC, and the block contains the Puk Puk discovery and two other finds with an estimated 2.4 trillion cubic feet of gas in place. Talisman owns a total of 14 licences in PNG.
"Talisman is committed to PNG and we are very active - we currently have two rigs in country, and have an active drilling programme that will continue next year," Mann said.
According to a BP study, PNG had 15.6 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves at the end of 2010, though this figure is likely to be below the true estimate as the country remains underexplored.
However, players active in the country, including ExxonMobil and Xstrata, face major logistical challenges to develop these resources as they are located in hilly terrain far from the coast.
ExxonMobil and partners are spending US$15.7 billion to drill wells, build pipelines and a facility that can produce liquefied natural gas for export to China, Taiwan and Japan.
Published: 28 December 2011 10:00 GMT | Last updated: 28 December 2011 10:03 GMT