A company based in Papua New Guinea has grabbed attention for its interest in what at least one Alaska official has called the state’s third-largest oil field.
Oil Search, based in PNG, took over as operator of the Pikka Unit, AP reports.
The company bought a significant stake in the project last year from its main partner, Denver-based Armstrong Oil and Gas, with an option to take over the rest of Armstrong’s stake. The Spanish oil company Repsol continues to own a significant percentage.
State Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack said the Pikka Unit field alone could reverse the long-term decline in the amount of oil flowing down the trans-Alaska pipeline.
President of Oil Search Alaska, Keiran Wulff, said the company’s first planned development in the field west of Prudhoe Bay could represent a significant investment — in the range of $4 billion to $6 billion.
“We see Alaska as a place of enormous opportunity,” Wulff said.
Oil Search operates all the producing oil fields in Papua New Guinea. But the bulk of what invested there is gas, so the company decided it needed to balance its portfolio.