Total announced Tuesday the signing of agreements with Oil Search Limited for the acquisition of a 40% interest in offshore licences PPL 234 and PPL 244, a 50% interest in offshore licence PRL 10 and the option to acquire a 35% interest in onshore licences PPL 338 and PPL 339. All the licences are located in the Gulf of Papua region. The offshore blocks lay in water depths ranging up to 100 meters.
The objective of Total and Oil Search is to explore and appraise these five licences situated in areas with a high potential for gas discoveries. Oil Search will retain the operatorship for the exploration activities. Two exploration wells are planned to be drilled in early 2013.
In addition, Total and Oil Search have agreed to form a strategic partnership to assess other opportunities in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
“This acquisition represents an exciting opportunity for Total to enter the Upstream in the resource-rich Papua New Guinea. We are convinced that our partnership with Oil Search, a well established oil and gas player in this country, is a very positive foundation for our future success in this venture”, said Jean-Marie Guillermou, Senior Vice President, Exploration & Production, Asia-Pacific. “The farm-in reinforces our exploration portfolio in the foothills and carbonates plays and it is in line with our strategy to strengthen our presence in the Asia Pacific, particularly in the gas and LNG sector.”
The transaction is subject to approval by PNG authorities.