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Oil Search presented its results for the first half of 2019 yesterday describing it as “solid”.
A teleconference was held linking media, bankers and staff from within Australia and abroad.
Managing director Peter Botten and Chief Financial Officer Stephen Gardiner provided quite an overview of the company’s performance apart from the obvious financial figures which the company netted a profit after tax of US$162 million – figure doubled for same period last year when production was hugely affected by the earthquake in Hela.
“Right now we are working very hard to optimise our activities following the earthquake to boost operating production in 2019,” Mr Botten said.
There has been some significant scheduled maintenance undertaken by the PNG LNG and they anticipate a stronger second half.
He said they recently got access to north-west Moran fields and they hope to progressively develop it in the second half of 2019.
Mr Botten said their production guidance remains the somewhere between 28 and 31 millions of oil barrels equivalent.
He said they will optimise their oil fields in the second half of this year and well into 2020.
“We see value in optimising the oil business,” he said.
Significant among the company’s business ventures as well are the Papua LNG and P’nyang.
Mr Botten said the Papua LNG as a very mature project that “increases material value for the state”, saying the state’s take is slightly better than the PNG LNG.
“What’s before us is a comprehensive negotiation on national content and to support local workforce,” he said.
“It’s a more mature project” concerning the downstream, upstream and pre Front End Engineering Design negotiations.
“It really does focus on the development of downstream industry which we hope will support the diversification of the economy.”
Mr Botten said FEED contract is very well advanced.
“We are ready to award the contract subject to the gas agreement being finalised (for P’nyang) and confirmed for Papua LNG,” he said.
“We already started initial negotiations for the P’nyang gas agreement.
The government initially said they would review the Papua LNG gas agreement, agreeing in principle with the content, but this week, Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua, who is in Singapore to renegotiate the terms of the gas project, said they would seek a new gas deal as “certain terms were unfavorable.”