NEW GUINEA Energy (NGE) has confirmed it has surrendered its PPL 268 licence to the Papua New Guinea government, two years after deciding targets within the licence were uneconomic.

The company told the Australian Securities Exchange in August that an application by itself and joint venture partners Mitsubishi and Talisman Energy, now acquired by Spanish giant Repsol, had secured ministerial approval.

“Each of the joint venture partners within PPL 268 had completed an assessment of the finding and development costs and development options and likely options for commercialising the top-ranked prospect within PPL 268,” NGE said.

“Based on this analysis the view was that targets within this licence are insufficient in size and quality to be economically developed.”

NGE, which held a 50 per cent stake in the project, issued an impairment of $7.85 million on the asset in its 2013 annual report.

The 375,100 hectare licence area lies south of the Elevala, Ketu and Stanley wet gas discoveries and is bound to the west by the Fly River – the border between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

PPL 268 targeted the Onshore Papua basin, with Talisman having completed a 109 kilometre seismic program over the field.