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InterOil Spuds Triceratops-2 Well in Papua New Guinea

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InterOil Corporation announced that drilling has commenced on the Triceratops-2 appraisal well in Petroleum Prospecting License 237 in Papua New Guinea.

The plan is to drill the entire reservoir interval with a predicted total depth of the well of approximately 7,579 feet (2,310 meters). The well is expected to take in the order of 60 to 120 days to drill, log and test depending upon drilling conditions.

The Triceratops-2 well will test a previously identified gas field which was logged and tested during drilling of the Bwata-1 well in 1959, and the Triceratops-1 well in 2005. The Bwata-1 well tested flow rates of up to 28 million cubic feet of natural gas per day defining a 512 feet (156 metre) gas column.

Recently InterOil has completed over 128 kilometres of seismic acquisition re-evaluating the Triceratops gas field. The seismic data defines a larger structural closure than previously recognized. In addition, seismic facies character and geometries analogous to the Antelope reefal build up have been observed.

The Triceratops-2 well, located approximately 2.1 miles (3.5 kms) west of the Bwata-1 discovery well and 2.9 miles (4.7 kms) SW from Triceratops-1, is predicted to penetrate the top of the carbonate reservoir approximately 1,500 feet higher than the gas water contact established in the Bwata-1 well.

The Triceratops-2 primary objectives are to 1) confirm the presence of gas and condensate 2) test for the presence of reefal carbonate reservoir and 3) in the event of success, complete the well as a future production well.

We are pleased to resume our exploration drilling activities with the drilling and delineation of the Triceratops gas field. Our exploration team has identified significant potential in this field which is proximate to our planned Gulf LNG Project,” said Mr. Phil Mulacek, Chief Executive Officer of InterOil.

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InterOil Seeks Strategic Partner for Papua New Guinea LNG Project

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InterOil Corporation today announced that the Company has retained Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. and UBS AG as joint financial advisors to assist InterOil with its soliciting and evaluating proposals from potential strategic partners in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project currently being led by InterOil’s joint venture entity, Liquid Niugini Gas Limited.

The Company anticipates that these proposals will relate to obtaining an internationally recognized LNG operating and equity partner for development of the Project’s gas liquefaction and associated facilities in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea, together with a sale of an interest in the Elk and Antelope fields and in InterOil’s exploration tenements in Papua New Guinea.

InterOil has determined, in response to inquiry from potential LNG partners and in consultation with the Papua New Guinea Government, to engage in a formal partnering process. The considerable strengthening of the Asian LNG market, the increased interest in exploration and investment in Papua New Guinea, as well as the Company’s reservoir analysis and project design fundamentals lead the Company to believe that now is an attractive time to seek a partner.

The Company expects that successful completion of such a transaction will satisfy the objectives of complementing the Company’s planned LNG development capabilities with an internationally recognized LNG partner and generating a third party valuation for InterOil’s resources.

We look forward to working closely with Morgan Stanley, Macquarie and UBS as they support us in this evaluation process and in reaching what will surely be a milestone for InterOil, its shareholders and Papua New Guinea,” said Phil Mulacek, Chief Executive Officer of InterOil.

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Paupa New Guinea: FLEX Updates on Gulf LNG Project

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FLEX LNG yesterday responded to the article published in the Norwegian business newspaper “Finansavisen” containing misleading information that portrays the Gulf LNG project in a manner that neither FLEX LNG nor InterOil Corporation recognize.

FLEX LNG has invested close to 500 million USD in equity in the construction contracts with SHI and a substantial amount of this equity will be allocated to the Gulf LNG project. The equity already paid in by FLEX LNG to Samsung Heavy Industries will cover all payments to Samsung Heavy Industries until delivery of the FLNG unit, when one final instalment will be due. Between Final Investment Decision (FID) and first LNG production from the Gulf LNG project, FLEX LNG’s funding requirement is limited to general working capital and project management cost in the period.

FLEX LNG is proud to be part of the Gulf LNG project – a project that is expected to bring huge value to the Nation of Papua New Guinea and the Gulf Province from 2014 when first LNG production is expected.

This can only be made possible by leveraging off work that has already been carried out by FLEX LNG in cooperation with Samsung Heavy Industries and WorleyParsons.”, FLEX LNG said in a press release.

Samsung Heavy Industries is the world’s leading shipyard, with an extensive experience in building complex offshore facilities and WorleyParson is a world leading EPC contractor.

Comments have been made in the press that the PNG government has shelved the Gulf LNG project.

This is not correct and we have received confirmation from InterOil that they remain focused on developing a world class LNG project compliant with the Project Agreement signed in 2009 and that FLEX LNG continues to be an integral part of these plans. In order to strengthen the Gulf LNG project a world-class operator will be brought into the project. InterOil and FLEX LNG are jointly working to attract such an operator to the project.“, FLEX LNG added.

Commenting on the current situation, Chief Executive Officer of FLEX LNG Management Ltd, Philip Fjeld stated:

FLEX LNG and its partners continue to work hard to achieve FID for the Gulf LNG project within 2011. FID for a large LNG project requires complete dedication by all parties involved and we are confident that all stakeholders involved in the Gulf LNG project are committed towards a timeline that would see LNG produced in 2014”.

Commenting on the current situation, the Chairman of InterOil, Phil Mulacek stated:

LNG development in the Gulf Province has significant support in Papua New Guinea, as well as by the Gulf Ministers and local landowners where we have our vast gas and condensate development, as stated by the Minister of Petroleum late last night, and re-confirmed by the Prime Minister today in our meetings. A clarification which we agreed to today with the Prime Minister, is that the Petroleum Minister would like a proven LNG operator to join the project to strengthen LNG operations. InterOil has committed to ensure this occurs and will be working with all parties for a solid and successful outcome.”

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Japan Urges Papua New Guinea to Improve Policing Around LNG Projects

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Japan has urged Papua New Guinea to improve internal security to allow the smooth implementation of the liquefied natural gas projects.

The Post Courier reports that Japan’s Foreign Minister, Takeaki Matsumoto, put the request to his PNG counterpart Don Polye in Tokyo.

Mr Polye has been in Japan for the signing of the investment agreement for the protection and promotion of Japanese investments in PNG. Japanese companies are participating in both the ExxonMobil-led project and the second LNG project operated by InterOil Corporation.

A number of disgruntled landowner groups have already disrupted the construction of the major gas pipeline being constructed for the first LNG project.

In recent months, killings and attacks have been reported in Southern Highlands, raising security concerns about the safety of developers and contractors.

The government has stationed police units in the oil and gas rich region.

Original Article

Papua New Guinea: Beijing’s embrace spreads irresistibly across the Pacific

By Andrew Stone

Twenty years ago, China had four diplomatic posts in the South Pacific.

New Zealand and Australia had 10 each. The United States, the big regional power, had six.

Two decades on, China has more diplomats in the region than New Zealand and Australia combined – a surprise given Beijing only has relations with eight of the 14 Pacific Islands Forum members.

For a newly elected head of government from the region, the first foreign port of call is likely to be the Great Hall of the People, and not Canberra, Washington or the Beehive.

Does this matter? Perhaps less so now that tensions between Taiwan and China have cooled. Previously intense rivalry between the two drove chequebook diplomacy.

Taipei and Beijing spent years wooing small Pacific nations to sign up to their particular China brand. Taiwan got six forum countries on board, but a truce has existed since the election of President Ma Ying-Jeou in 2008.

But even as the political courtship has softened, money in the form of soft loans and grants continues to pour into the region. Beijing has put up cash to lift trade, build schools and bridges, train senior military officers and in the case of Fiji, fence the president’s palace.

China is one of the region’s top three aid donors, after Australia and the US. A study by the Sydney based-Lowy Institute puts its 2009 aid to its recognised forum members at US$209 million (NZ$267m). Australia, the top regional donor, gave US$650 million to the 14 forum countries. New Zealand gave about US$100 million.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thinks the West needs to be awake to China in the region. Last month she railed against cuts sought by Republicans to the US foreign aid programme, telling senators: “Let’s put aside the humanitarian, do-good side of what we believe in. Let’s just talk straight realpolitik. We are in competition with China.”

She noted a “huge energy find” in Papua New Guinea by the oil giant Exxon Mobil, which has begun drilling for natural gas. Clinton said China was jockeying for influence in the region and seeing how it could “come in behind us and come in under us”.

She claimed China had taken the leaders of small Pacific nations to Beijing and “wined them and dined them”. “We have a lot of support in the Pacific Ocean region. A lot of those small countries have voted with us in the United Nations, they are stalwart American allies, they embrace our values.”

Foreign policy expert Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley of Auckland University agrees.

“I would call the impact of China mildly disruptive,” he says.

Beijing did not consult countries with a history in the region, and its investments could seem out of kilter with small island needs.

Adds Hoadley: “They can be a little bit corrupt, they often engage in under-the-table favours. That’s why the leaders in the Pacific Islands are very happy to have these shonky projects, they get VIP trips to Beijing, they may get other things though that is unconfirmed.”

He says the Chinese Government was not necessarily culpable, though it might be negligent in that it sub-contracted work to companies which used inferior supplies, cut corners, ignored the local workforce and left behind projects of dubious value.

“A lot more consultation would be welcome,” suggests Hoadley.

But does China have any discernable workplan to displace the traditional Western players in the region for its own national security?

China has been part of the region for more than 150 years. Thousands of indentured labourers worked in plantations and phosphate mines in the 19th century, becoming the ancestors of the small but often successful Chinese communities in most Pacific Island states.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully does not see any “unwholesome motives” in China’s Pacific strategy. He argues the equation is quite simple. Pacific states have minerals, timber and fish – and China is a hungry buyer.

He told a high level gathering of China watchers last week in Wellington: “China is simply doing in our neighbourhood what it is doing in every neighbourhood around the globe: undertaking a level of engagement designed to secure access to resources on a scale that will meet its future needs, and establishing a presence through which it can make its other interests clear.”

But McCully wants Beijing – and Taipei – to be more transparent with the money they shower on island states and has urged China to ensure its loans do not burden small nations with debt.

Political scientist Jian Yang, who has book coming out about China’s strategy in the Pacific, expects Beijing’s influence in the region to grow, along with other major players including Japan, India and the US.

New Zealand, he argues, has historic, cultural and economic ties to the region which are not easily replaced.

“What is crucial is for New Zealand to continue its dialogue with China and the other powers.”

So far, concludes Yang, New Zealand has done well.

Original Article

CONTINENTS OF THE WORLD

arrow CONTINENTS OF THE WORLD
World Atlas, World Map, Outline Map of the World

CONTINENTS (by size)
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#1 Asia – (44,579,000 sq km)
#2 Africa – (30,065,000 sq km)
#3 North America – (24,256,000 sq km)
#4 South America – (17,819,000 sq km)
#5 Antarctica – (13,209,000 sq km)
#6 Europe – (9,938,000 sq km)
#7 Australia/Oceania – (7,687,000 sq km)
dot
CONTINENTS (by population) 2006 est.
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#1 Asia – (3,879,000,000)
#2 Africa – (877,500,000)
#3 Europe – (727,000,000)
#4 North America – (501,500,000)
#5 South America – (379,500,000)
#6 Australia/Oceania – (32,000,000)
#7 Antarctica – (0)
dot
CONTINENTS (by the number of countries)
dot
#1 Africa – (54)
#3 Europe – (46)
#2 Asia – (44)
#4 North America – (23)
#5 Oceania – (14)
#6 South America – (12)
dot

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