Oil and Gas News

Rise in PNG COVID-19 cases causes hassles for Oil Search

Oil Search managing director Keiran Wulff has described that last quarter as stable, despite rapidly growing COVID-19 cases impacting Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Outlined in the company’s quarterly report, the company also made significant progress on its development projects, with the PNG Government signed a the fiscal stability agreement and awarded a five year licence extension for Papua LNG.

“The joint venture is now reviewing markets and finalising revised pre-FEED engineering ahead of making a front end engineering and design decision (FEED) for Papua LNG in 2022,” Wulff said.

With escalating COVID-19 cases in PNG, Oil Search continues to deploy stringent mitigation and protective measures such as strict quarantining of its staff and segregation of its filed activities from local communities.

In addition, following the company’s cost reduction and productivity programs in 2020, it is now embedding the initiatives into its business to ensure a sustainable continuous improvement culture.

“We are strictly adhering to disciplined capital allocation to enhance our funding position as we approach the development periods of our world class growth assets,” Wulff highlighted.

Further outlined in the quarterly report, total first quarter production from the PNG LNG project was 6.11 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe).

The PNG LNG project supplied 590 mmscf of gas, corresponding to a net contribution from Oil Search of 171 mmscf.

Net production from the company’s operated PNG assets was 0.76 MMboe, 18 per cent higher than the fourth quarter 2020 due to strong performance from the Moran and Agogo fields.

“Our operated assets at Moran and Agogo significantly outperformed our budget expectations and helped offset lower PNG LNG production, which was impacted by a short shutdown at Hides,” Wulff said.