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Total has signed agreements with Oil Search Ltd. for the acquisition of a 40% interest in offshore licences PPL 234 and PPL 244, a 50% interest in offshore licence PRL 10, and the option to acquire a 35% interest in onshore licences PPL 338 and PPL 339, a news release stated. All the licences are located in the Gulf of Papua region.
The offshore blocks are in water depths of up to 100 m (328 ft).
The objective of Total and Oil Search is to explore and appraise these five licenses in areas with a high potential for gas discoveries, according to the release. Oil Search will retain the operatorship for the exploration activities. Two exploration wells are planned to be drilled in early 2013. In addition, Total and Oil Search have agreed to form a strategic partnership to assess other opportunities in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The transaction is subject to approval by PNG authorities.