DRILLING activities conducted by Kina Petroleum at the Raintree 1 well in Papua New Guinea have hit volcanic rocks instead of a potential reservoir.

Kina Petroleum told the Australian Securities Exchange that the well, located in its wholly-owned PPL 337 permit, had reached a volcanic lithogy at a depth of 1,088 metres.

While the age and significance of the volcanics were being evaluated, Kina said it expected that drilling would continue until the well reached its total depth of 1,200 metres, prior to logging.

Kina managing director Richard Schroder said seismic data over the permit had indicated a sealed potential reservoir, thought to be at a depth of 1,000 metres.

“A good sealing unit was drilled, above a strong seismic reflector which exhibited all the characteristics of a reef.”

“At this point in time, the change in lithology appears to be volcanic. We will drill ahead to confirm the nature of these volcanics prior to logging.”

The Raintree 1 well was drilled to test a carbonate reef similar to the one encountered at the Elk-Antelope site, Kina had said in a mid-March announcement.

Nonetheless, Mr Schroder said testing would continue, adding that Raintree 1 was the first well in a two well program.

“The truck mounted rig used to drill the well has performed very well. It has demonstrated a far more cost effective way of drilling in parts of PNG and Kina sees a good future for this type of rig in-country,” he said.

“The next well to be drilled in PPL 337 – the Kwila 1 well – will test sandstones at a slightly shallower depth than the volcanics intersected at Raintree 1.”

“These sandstones are at the flank of the Banam Anticline, along which numerous gas seeps have been identified by fieldwork.”

The wells represent the first drilling activity in the North New Guinea basin for over 20 years, Kina said.