Natural Gas Player Oil Search Ltd. Talks Alaskan Oil

Some might find it intriguing that a Papua New Guinea-based company known for its role in the PNG LNG project and being operator of all of the country’s producing oil fields would find its way to Alaska.

But the North Slope of Alaska, which contains some of the largest oil and gas fields in the United States along with more than 2 billion barrels of petroleum reserves by U.S. Energy Information Administration’s estimates, proved alluring for Oil Search Ltd. (ASX: OSH).

“PNG is a very gas-prone country; there is not much oil,” Ann Diamant, general manager of investor relations and communications for Oil Search, told Hart Energy. “So we really wanted some more oil in the portfolio to balance ourselves out.”

The company, which in 2017 exited high-risk operations in the Middle East where it operated in the Kurdistan area of Iraq, considered about 200 different opportunities during its global search for oil assets worthy of investment. Alaska’s Nanushuk play rose to the top, Diamant said, after Repsol mentioned its partner Armstrong Oil & Gas, which struck oil at the Horseshoe prospect in 2017 and extended the Pikka Unit play, was looking to pare down its stake in the assets.