Papua New Guinea-focussed Kina Petroleum Ltd. has begun drilling its Raintree-1 wildcat in the northern part of that country.
The well, drilled in PPL 337, is the first in the region for 2 decades.
Raintree-1 is being operated by Heritage Oil Ltd., which is funding the drilling and possible testing of Raintree and another prospect called Kwila to earn as much as 70% in the permit. Kina will reduce its holdings to 30%.
Kina also will be carried through costs associated with a planned 100-km seismic program and any appraisal drilling in the event of wildcat success.
Raintree will evaluate a Pliocene-age carbonate reef prospect analogous to, but younger than, the reservoir in the Elk-Antelope discovery in the southeast highlands.
The well will take 2 weeks to drill.
Kwila-1 will be a flank test of Pleistocene and Miocene-age sandstone reservoirs and is based on a flat-spot anomaly.
Both wells are targeting dry gas. There are numerous seeps in the licence and potential offtake buyers in and around Madang on the north coast, including mining operations at Ramu Nickel and Yandera. Another possibility is power generation for Madang itself.