Horizon Oil, an Australian energy company focused on Southeast Asia, said "elevated gas readings were recorded" in its Tingu-1 exploration well in the country's Western Province.
"Horizon Oil will advise on the significance of the gas shows when the well logging is completed, expected to be early next week," the company said in a statement Thursday.
Papua New Guinea has rich deposits of oil and natural gas, with mineral and oil exports accounting for the bulk of the country's gross domestic product.
Horizon said it was carrying out front-end engineering and design work at its Elevala and Ketu fields in the country. It said it would make plans to add Tingu to those ambitions if it proves to be a natural gas discovery.
The company said the Tingu prospect "has the potential" to be about size of its Elavala field, which it said holds approximately 400 billion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.
Vote yes for oil, Scottish energy minister says
Kinder Morgan eyes Maine for gas line