On Mar 10, independent oil and gas company InterOil Corporation (IOC) commenced the drilling of exploratory well Wahoo-1 in Papua New Guinea, pursuant to the approval by the Papua New Guinea Department of Petroleum and Energy.
InterOil intends to drill four exploration wells in the next 12 to 15 months in the Gulf Province and Wahoo-1 is the second of the four. The $300 million exploration and appraisal program of the company also includes drilling of up to four appraisal wells on the Elk-Antelope and Triceratops discoveries.
Last week, the government of Papua New Guinea granted InterOil exploration rights of four new petroleum prospecting licenses (PPL) – 474, 475, 476 and 477. This drilling venture, one of the largest in Papua New Guinea, is part of the above-mentioned exploration program. The recently acquired licenses cover the same region as that of InterOil’s previously held PPLs 236, 237 and 238.
Earlier in the month, the company commenced drilling of the exploration well Bobcat-1 in PPL 238. The well is expected to be drilled to depths of 3,134 meters. The drilling and testing of the well is expected to be completed in about three months.
InterOil works primarily in Papua New Guinea and the area around it. The company’s portfolio includes the Elk-Antelope gas field in the Gulf Province, one of the largest undeveloped gas fields in Asia. The company also holds distribution facilities across Papua New Guinea and is the owner of the country’s sole oil refinery.
InterOil currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.
Meanwhile, one can consider better-ranked players in the energy sector such as Range Resources Corporation (RRC), Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. (PTEN) and Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (HP). All these stocks currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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