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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, September 14) – The Papua New Guinea Government has received confirmation of global interest in bidding for 15 exploration blocks in the Gulf of Papua when 60 executives from more than 30 international oil and gas companies attended their inaugural road show in Singapore.

The companies included the big British Gas Group, ChevronTexaco, CNPC of China, Hunt Oil Company, Korea Gas Corporation, Mitsubishi, Nippon, Pearl Energy Ltd, Petronas, Premier Oil, Repsol and Singapore Petroleum.

"This is a very important milestone in promoting the southern offshore areas for exploration for potential oil and gas accumulation and their development," Petroleum Minister Sir Moi said from Singapore yesterday.

Sir Moi told the audience that the area was selected because of their newly recognized prospectivity and proximity to onshore discoveries as well as finds in the offshore Papuan sedimentary basin.

"This is very much a frontier exploration region with very sparse to nil exploration data available, though recent discoveries onshore and few discoveries offshore show similar prospect or what oil men call ‘play types’."

Independent assessment of the offshore areas of the eastern Gulf of Papua and out into the Coral Sea was done by Fugro Multiclient Services, a subsidiary of the Fugro Group, which is a major geo-science and technology business specializing in marine petroleum geophysics.

Sir Moi said PNG has much to offer the global energy market.

"We are a highly prospective and yet under-explored country, but this will change with the initiatives taken by the PNG Government".

He said although PNG has law and order problems which are common features of a developing nation, it has been host to some world class mining and petroleum projects developed and operated by industry majors such as Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, ChevronTexaco and Ex-xonMobil.

With the official opening of the bidding process by Sir Moi in Singapore on Wednesday, the licensing round process will continue until April 13 next year.

The opening road show in Singapore was followed by one-on-one discussions with interested bidders. ]

The road show will proceed to Calgary (Canada), Houston (USA), London (UK) and conclude in Perth (Australia).

September 15, 2006

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