Oil Search finds its way into Alaska with US$400 million deal at Pikka field
Papua New Guinea-specialist Oil Search surprised the market with a US$400-million entrance to Alaska's North Slope. The region has been a bright spot for global conventional exploration, with two major discoveries announced in the legacy basin this year. Both of these discoveries, and Oil Search's acquisition, have been in the embryonic Nanushuk play. Oil Search acquired a 25.5% interest and operatorship in the Pikka Unit as well as various stakes in other exploration acreage from Armstrong Oil & Gas and GMT Exploration, pure-play Alaska explorers. Oil Search's move into Alaska is a departure from its core business, thematically and operationally. Papua New Guinea (PNG) accounts for the company's entire commercial portfolio and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) comprises 95% of the company's remaining value. The company will face a steep learning curve taking on a new resource theme in Alaska's localised and unique operating environment.