DECEMBER OIL OUTPUT SLIGHTLY UP IN PNG

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Post Courier, Jan. 7) – PNG’s Moran-4 oil well slightly increased crude oil production to 62,362 barrels between November and the end of December last year, Petroleum and Energy Secretary Joseph Gabut yesterday.

But Gabut said in his monthly Crude Oil Prices and Exports report for December that this did not help the overall crude oil production because output was 13 percent lower than the same month of last year. 

PNG’s crude oil production in December was approximately 1.395 million barrels, which is about 13 percent lower than the December 2001 figure of 1.6 million barrels, Gabut said.

"There was a slight increase in production between November and December when the Moran-4 was brought on line."

The overall decline in production continued to reflect the natural decline in the Kutubu and Gobe oil fields.

PNG’s Kutubu crude started trading last month at $US27.77 (K110.81) per barrel and ended it at $US31.92 (K127.37), an increase of 14.9 per cent.

The average for December was $US29.45 (K117.52), which was up 13.38 percent compared with November average of $US25.87 (K103.23). 

The $US32.32 per barrel was the highest quoted oil price since November 2000 for Kutubu crude.

Gabut said PNG’s crude oil exports for the month of December totaled 1,360,306 barrels and with the average Kutubu price for the month around $US29.45 (K117.52), the gross value of PNG’s crude oil exports in December was around $US40 million.

World oil prices reached their highest level last month in nearly two years as the growing threat of war with Iraq combined with Venezuela’s general workers’ strike leading to uncertain impact on oil output.

The prices started the month flat before climbing steadily and remained relatively high throughout the month.

The Pacific Rim "marker" crude Tapis started the month at $US27.26 (K108.77) and ended trading at $US32.29 (K128.25).

January 7, 2003

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