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Location Papuan foldbelt, Southern Highlands Province, approximately 550 kilometres north-west of Port Moresby
Permit Petroleum Development Licence 2 (PDL 2) and Pipeline Licence 2 (PL 2)
Oil Search's interest 60.05%
JV Partners (in both PDL-2 and PL-2) ExxonMobil, held through Ampolex (PNG Petroleum) Inc and Merlin Pacific Oil Company (14.52%), Merlin Petroleum Company (18.69%), Petroleum Resources (Kutubu) Ltd (6.75%)
Operator Oil Search (PNG) Limited.
Recent production (net to Oil Search)

2014: 3.69 mmbbl
2013: 3.47 mmbbl
2012: 3.27 mmbbl

2P Oil Reserves - end 2014 (net to Oil Search) 23.8 mmbbl

Project Overview


The Kutubu Oil Project, which was PNG’s first commercial oil field development, is located in the Southern Highlands of PNG. Oil was first discovered at Kutubu in 1986 and commercial production commenced in June 1992.

The Kutubu development comprises a network of wells that produce oil from the Iagifu-Hedinia, Usano and Agogo fields, a gathering system, on-site processing facilities (the Agogo and Central Processing Facilities), supporting infrastructure, a 270 kilometre crude oil export pipeline to the coast and a marine loading terminal in the Gulf of Papua. The pipeline operates under Pipeline Licence 2 (PL 2), while the oilfield operates under Petroleum Development Licence 2 (PDL 2). Both licences were issued in December 1990 for a term of 25 years and were extended in December 2009 until December 2035.

Oil production from the Kutubu field peaked in 1993 at 130,000 bopd gross. Although still a strong contributor to Oil Search's base oil business, the Kutubu field is well into its decline phase due to natural field depletion. However, efforts over the past several years to arrest the oil production decline have been highly successful with additional production resulting from the drilling of development wells at Kutubu, Agogo and Usano.

Associated Gas field for PNG LNG Project

The Kutubu field is also one of four Associated Gas fields (Kutubu, Agogo, Moran, Gobe Main) that will contribute approximately 20% of the total gas feedstock over the life of the PNG LNG Project.


Kutubu crude oil is sold as part of “Kutubu Blend” together with crude oil from the Moran and Gobe fields and condensate from the PNG LNG Project. See Crude Marketing for further information.