7 Dec 2005

PNG petroleum official advises caution on interpreting early results of possible oil discoveryt

11:15 am on 7 December 2005

The Chamber of Mines and Petroleum in Papua New Guinea says it is premature to get excited about an off-shore find of highly prospective permian rock in the Gulf of Papua.

Permian rock allows fluids such as oil to pass through it and is similar to hydrocarbon-producing provinces of eastern Indonesia.

The minister for Petroleum and Energy, Sir Moi Avei has been reported as calling it the "biggest potential find yet for PNG".

But project officer for the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Simon Kawagle, says companies should not be preparing their applications to drill just yet.

"The area hasn't been given much intensive sort of exploration. The exploration is to come first and then we can say it's significant. There's a seismic contractor coming in to work on some of the data. We need exploration data to consolidate it."