New Guinea Energy exits Papua New Guinea

New Guinea Energy Ltd. (NGE), Melbourne, has decided to hand back its final two petroleum exploration permits in Papua New Guinea and complete its planned transition to a listed investment company.

The move, now out in the open, has been predicted since private investment management firm Kentgrove Capital took control of the company last year.

NGE, originally founded in 2006 as a $50-million (Aus.) float on London’s Alternative Investment Market, had six permits. Two were sold last year and two more were dropped. The company is now planning to surrender its final two areas: PPL266, which expires this week, and PPL267, which expires in August 2017.

PPL266 contains the large Macadamia natural gas lead, while PPL267 encloses the Kaisy oil lead. Both require seismic surveys to firm up into drillable prospects.

The company says that there has been no farm-in interest from other explorers and it can no longer justify the license costs.

NGE now has $12.28 million in cash and $3.58 million in liquid investments. It also has a 50% interest in Western Drilling Ltd., which owns one rig and a drilling camp.

In addition, NGE holds contractual rights for contingent payments and royalties in connection with the previous sale of PPL277 and PPL269. PPL269 is south of P’ynang gas field and contains the Strickland prospect, while PPL277 is on trend with Hides, Angore, and Gobe fields.

In its 10 years in Papua New Guinea, NGE has spent a total of $40 million (Aus.) and participated in the discovery of the yet-to-be developed Stanley, Elevala, and Ketu discoveries.

NGE now plans to deploy its cash in a broad range of investments, including those outside the petroleum industry, in an effort to provide more opportunities to maximize returns for shareholders.

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