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:
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.
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.