Rawson Resources Ltd., Sydney, has been awarded a permit in the sparsely explored Cape Vogel basin offshore east Papua New Guinea.
The permit, PPL560, lies 300 km southeast of Lae and east of the inland town of Popondetta and 10-30 km offshore.
It has an aerial extent of 4,680 sq km and contains several prospects, notably the Buna structure that has a maximum closure of 340 sq km and the potential to hold 6.5 tcf of gas. Buna West and Kumasi prospects also lie within the permit.
PPL560 has been awarded for a 6-year term with a further 6-year renewal period. The first commitment well is not due until 2020.
Rawson says the coastal licence is in shallow water, enabling the use of a jack up drilling rig when the time comes for the commitment well.
Initial 2D seismic survey data in the permit suggests Buna structure has a gas-bearing reservoir of Miocene age and is potentially the largest undrilled structure in Papua New Guinea since the Elk-Antelope field discovery.
The two closest wells, Goodenough-1 and Nubiam-1, were drilled 150 km east, near the Trobriand Islands in the 1970s. Both wells have been plugged.
Rawson is attempting to build a high-impact oil and gas portfolio in Papua New Guinea and has two existing permits in the Aitape basin onshore northwest PNG as well as an application pending for an onshore west Papuan basin permit.
The company also has assets in the Cooper basin and the onshore Otway basin, both in South Australia.