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MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia - 30/01/2013

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(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) New Guinea Energy (ASX: NGE) is close to completing the drill rig that it owns in an equal joint venture with Maps Tuna Limited.

Work is underway to complete and test all remaining electrical and plumbing works and a robust Health, Safety and Environment System has been established.

The 74 man heliportable drilling camp also arrived in Papua New Guinea last quarter and the combined rig and camp will be ready for deployment shortly.

As part of ongoing discussions with third parties for leasing of the rig plus crew, the joint venture company Western Drilling Limited was invited to submit tenders to two operators during the quarter for an upcoming drilling program.

The heli-portable rig is capable of drilling wells up to a depth of 4,000 metres and besides drilling wells for other operators, provides New Guinea with a rig that it could use for its own wells.

Exploration in the company's blocks is also set to begin with Talisman Energy (TSE: TLM) proposing a 58 kilometre 2D seismic program in the second quarter over the 268-1 Prospect in PPL 268.

This is targeted at identifying a drilling location and determining a likely spill point to the large area under closure.

Recently reprocessed seismic has also allowed New Guinea to remap the foothills area encompassing the Maipe Leads in PPL 269.

Although a risk of fault seal remains for these structures, their proximity to the Ok Tedi Mine and the Mine Access Road significantly lowers the operational and commercial risks. The likely hydrocarbon phases present are gas and condensate.

Mapped volumes for gas in-place are 150 billion cubic feet for Maipe B and 190Bcf for Maipe C.

The company is also waiting on the Papua New Guinea Government to make a decision on an extended tenure for PPL 265.

The original 6-year licence expired at the end of November 2012 and as a consequence of the results from the seismic acquisition taken earlier this year, extension applications were lodged with the DPE well in advance of the expiration date.


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