Petroleum Prospecting Licence 579 (PPL 579)

PPL 579 lies to the south east of Port Moresby. No hydrocarbon exploration wells have been drilled in PPL 579 and previous exploration has been limited to surface geological mapping and reconnaissance, regional and prospect 2D seismic survey data acquisition.

PPL 579 consists of 110 sub-blocks and covers an area of approximately 9,244km2 (3,569 square miles). This is a unique permit in that it spans onshore and off shore:

  • approximately 47% onshore; and
  • approximately 53% in the offshore region of the Coral Sea, with roughly half of that in depths of 200m or less and the balance in depths greater than 200m (maximum depth is 1,900m).

The onshore areas within PPL 579 the Central Province and in the districts of Rigo, Abau and Apollo Bay. The permit is bounded to the north by the Owen Stanley Range. The coastline across PPL 579 is frequently rimmed by islands and reefs.

  • An opportunity to earn a significant equity stake with oil and gas prospective resources in a high-impact frontier license
  • The area is covered with sufficient seismic data to  conclude exploration opportunities exist in two different petroleum systems with Mesozoic and Tertiary targets
  • Eleven potential play types are recognized
  • Ten promising Mesozoic and 35 Tertiary leads/prospects have been mapped with clastic and carbonate targets
  • Initial exploration effort will focus on two high-graded offshore prospects
  • Vekwala with un-risked resource of 13 TCFG and 180 MMBO
  • Sunday with un-risked resource of 13.5 TCFG and 160MMBO
  • The region is only 150 km from established PNG-LNG facilities at Port Moresby and perhaps similarly the infrastructure coming to the area with Exxon’s potential multi-train LNG development at Elk-Antelope

PPL 579 is in close proximity to Puma Oil’s existing Napa Napa refinery. The close proximity of this infrastructure presents an opportunity for efficient commercialization of any discoveries in PPL 579, subject to commercial agreements being negotiated. Other major oil companies already active within the north western Papuan Fold Belt region include Oil Search Limited, Santos Limited, Nippon Oil Corporation, Sasol, Talisman and Mitsubishi. In the SE region there have been increased activity in seeking acreage; Oil Search and Exxon/Mobil have farmed into Gini’s PPL374 and PPL375. Total have been awarded two very large deep water blocks, PPL576 and PPL589 and there is an application by Exxon/Mobil in APPL569.

The geological basin underneath PPL 579 has several strong analogies with the Papuan Basin, both with the anticlines in the Highlands and the shallower carbonate reservoir structures in Elk, Antelope, Pasca and Pandora. The oil from a seep to the north of PPL579 has similar geochemical signatures of oils from the PNG Highlands fields.