Tal­is­man En­ergy pre­pares to drill at Stan­ley gas project

De­spite the takeover of its Canadian par­ent by Span­ish en­ergy com­pany, Rep­sol, it’s busi­ness as usual for Tal­is­man En­ergy PNG as it de­vel­ops the Stan­ley gas field in PNG’S West­ern Prov­ince. Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Manager Grant Christie ex­plains what 2

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Petroleum & Gas -

Busi­ness Ad­van­tage PNG (BAPNG): What do you see will be the next phase of the project? Grant Christie (GC): We’ve got a drilling cam­paign start­ing up in mid-2015 go­ing through to 2016, so that’s go­ing to be fo­cused on ap­praisal and ad­di­tional ex­plo­ration to add vol­ume to ag­gre­gate to a crit­i­cal mass of gas re­serves. There’s a sec­ond phase, which is the Stan­ley Gas Project, and we’re the op­er­a­tor of that project, so we’re fo­cus­ing our ef­forts at the mo­ment on get­ting that project back on track to pro­duce an oil stream and a do­mes­tic gas stream as soon as pos­si­ble. BAPNG: Your strat­egy in PNG is cen­tred around the ag­gre­ga­tion of smaller fields to cre­ate one larger re­serve. What’s the tip­ping point for you where you can say, okay we now have enough re­serves to go to the next stage? GC: I think the crit­i­cal vol­ume for a gas ag­gre­ga­tion is be­tween three and five tril­lion cu­bic feet (TCF). That’s suf­fi­cient vol­ume to start into front-end en­gi­neer­ing and start an LNG train de­sign.

We’ve looked at schemes for smaller vol­ume, but what we find in the West­ern Prov­ince is that the in­fra­struc­ture re­quire­ments are not in­signif­i­cant, and so it pushes you to­wards re­quir­ing larger vol­umes to eco­nom­i­cally jus­tify the devel­op­ment. BAPNG: What are the chal­lenges in West­ern Prov­ince? GC: The big­gest chal­lenge is the lo­gis­tics. It’s re­mote so it re­quires he­li­copter op­er­a­tions for ev­ery­thing. A rig move means about 400 sep­a­rate heavy-lift he­li­copter moves, in ad­di­tion to all the light he­li­copter peo­ple move­ment.

With the re­mote­ness, the lack of in­fra­struc­ture and in­dus­try also means you have to bring ev­ery­thing in that you need.

We’re now start­ing to see with the likes of To­tal and Exxonmo­bil com­ing to the party in more se­ri­ous con­ver­sa­tions about shar­ing in­fra­struc­ture, and set­ting up in­fra­struc­ture that is sus­tain­able. BAPNG: What op­por­tu­ni­ties are there to share in­fra­struc­ture to take the gas to mar­ket? GC: Shar­ing lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture—shar­ing rigs, he­li­copters, and, if you’re work­ing in the same area, us­ing the same base, us­ing the same heavy-lift he­li­copters. There’re only a few of them in the world.

And, ob­vi­ously, there are the syn­er­gies when you’re into a devel­op­ment phase of shar­ing pipe­line and fa­cil­i­ties in­fra­struc­ture with Exxonmo­bil or To­tal, and that’s prob­a­bly the key dis­cus­sion. BAPNG: And how are those dis­cus­sions go­ing? GC: It’s early days. Ac­tu­ally, it’s prob­a­bly in the last six to 12 months that I think peo­ple have started to re­alise what we re­alised about three or four years ago, which is ag­gre­ga­tion is the way to ac­cel­er­ate the ac­tiv­ity, share re­sources, have a com­mon pipe­line, and de­velop th­ese re­sources col­lec­tively, as op­posed to each con­sor­tium run­ning in their own di­rec­tion.

Tal­is­man En­ergy's Grant Christie.

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