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PNG: InterOil Net Profit Climbs

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InterOil said today its net profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 was $9.4 million compared with a net profit of $0.7 million for the same period in 2011, an improvement of $8.7 million.

First Quarter 2012 Highlights and Recent Developments

  • As of April 6, 2012, InterOil drilled the Triceratops-2 well in Papua New Guinea through the entire carbonate interval to a total depth of 7,336 feet (2,236 meters). The acquisition of wireline logs was completed on April 14, 2012 and the testing program is ongoing. The logs and DST pressure data indicate two separate, carbonate reservoir intervals with separate pressure systems and potentially separate or stacked hydrocarbon pay. The upper reservoir interval contains gas and condensate which preliminary pressure data indicates is in communication with the gas and condensate tested 3.8 kilometers away in the Bwata-1 well. The deeper zone lies below a 264 feet (80.5 meter) thick marl and argillaceous limestone interval, likely an intra-formational seal, where an independent formation evaluation indicates potential liquid hydrocarbons. The presence of movable hydrocarbons in the lower reservoir interval, at this stage, has not been confirmed with testing. However, a small volume of light oil of condensate composition was recovered.
  • Net profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 was $9.4 million. The operating segments of Corporate, Midstream Refining and Downstream collectively derived a net profit for the quarter of $28.6 million, while the investments in the development segments of Upstream and Midstream Liquefaction resulted in a net loss of $19.2 million.
  • Subsequent to quarter end, InterOil signed a binding Heads of Agreement with Pacific Rubiales Energy  to be able to earn a 10.0% net (12.9% gross) participating interest in PPL237, which includes the Triceratops structure. The transaction contemplates staged initial cash payments totaling $116.0 million, an additional carry of 25% of the costs of an agreed exploration work program, and a final resource payment. PRE has paid the initial $20 million of the staged cash payments. Definitive agreements are in the process of being finalized.

InterOil’s Chief Executive Officer Phil Mulacek commented, “We are pleased to report another successful quarter of profitability from our operating business. Additionally, we are excited to welcome Pacific Rubiales as partners in PPL 237, the company brings valuable expertise to our team.”

In regards to the ongoing LNG partnering process, Mr. Mulacek stated “We are continuing to work with our advisors to obtain a strategic partner. We have received conforming and non-conforming bids for the LNG partnering and sell down of an interest in the Elk and Antelope fields that we believe would be accretive to shareholders. We are now set to engage with a shortlist of significant LNG industry participants with a view to concluding discussions and entering into an agreement this quarter. The end result of the partnering process is envisioned to fully satisfy all the terms of the 2009 LNG Project Agreement.”

As to the Triceratops-2 well, Mr. Mulacek noted that, “Despite mechanical difficulties in obtaining a successful drill stem test from zones of interest in the lower hydrocarbon interval, we are very encouraged by gas and liquid hydrocarbon testing ongoing at the Triceratops-2 well. A plan is in place to evaluate the entire drilled interval and would likely include casing the entire interval and perforating zones of interest to obtain definitive results. Our prospect inventory is maturing and we anticipate that it will support our goal of a multi-year, multi-well exploration program. We believe that these achievements, combined with our strong balance sheet, support our continued growth and operational success.”

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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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