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 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.