Seismic shoot looking for exploration sweet spots offshore Papua New Guinea



Searcher Seismic in cooperation with Papua New Guinea’s Department of Petroleum & Energy and Larus Energy has started a new multi-client 3D seismic survey offshore Papua New Guinea.

Perth, Australia-headquartered Searcher said the 1919-square kilometre Nanamarope non-exclusive survey would be acquired over multiple permits in the offshore Gulf of Papua. The 3D seismic is designed to evaluate and de-risk several prospective plays identified within the Mesozoic and Tertiary intervals, improve imaging of secondary play types as well as resolving the velocity contrasts in the subsurface.

Wildcat planned

The survey will include Larus’ Petroleum Prospecting Licence (PPL) 579 where the operator is hoping next year to bring on board at least one farm-in partner ahead of potential exploration drilling in 2025.

The junior player said the Nanamarope survey is intended to provide state-of-the-art 3D seismic data in a highly prospective region of the Aure Moresby fold and thrust belt and the Torres sub-basin. The survey will enhance subsurface understanding and be utilised to optimise the drilling location for an exploration well on the Nanamarope prospect, plus mature other targets for follow-up drilling, noted Larus.

The prospect is located in an undrilled basin with unrisked mean recoverable prospective resources of 990 million barrels, the company said, adding that six additional prospects and 23 leads on PPL 579 have already been delineated on 2D seismic data.

The offshore block contains the sweet spot for the Mid Miocene turbidite play, representing lowest geological risk, according to Larus. The geological configuration is said to have resulted in clustered prospects and stacked targets offering the potential for cost efficiencies through clustered developments following exploration success.

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The just-started seismic shoot is understood to be being acquired by the survey vessel PXGEO 2.

“This 3D is crucial to enhancing the geological understanding of the sparsely explored offshore Gulf of Papua and developing drill ready prospects like those recently identified by a supermajor in the permit immediately adjacent to the Nanamarope 3D [survey],” said Searcher.

The company has built a library of regional seismic, geochemical and airborne data across the Gulf of Papua, a region which has attracted substantial interest from international exploration companies. This work to date has unveiled numerous play types with untapped hydrocarbon potential including a new Mid-Miocene turbidite play.

“We are thrilled to expand our presence in Papua New Guinea with the Nanamarope 3D survey, which will directly facilitate the next level of exploration in this rapidly developing global hotspot,” Alan Hopping, Searcher’s managing director.

“Employing advanced technologies in acquisition and processing, we are delivering high-quality data which empowers the industry to optimise exploration and development strategies.”

Fast-track deliverables for the Nanamarope 3D survey will be available by late in the third quarter this year.