Forest sector is one of the largest industries in the province. In 2009, 134,091 m3 of Logs was reported to be Exported out of Gulf Province. Out of a total of 34, 757 sq km of land area in the province, 33, 847 sq km (97.38%) is rainforest. A total of 9,960 sq km (29.43%) is declared as potential area for logging operations.
The forest sector is currently on the largest industries in Gulf Province. About 400 tree species in PNG have commercial values and 30-40 species are harvested and exported from Gulf Province to mainly Asian countries.
East Kikori, Turama and Baimuru Forest Management Area (FMA) comprises 1.25 million hectares and is the largest logging project in PNG Vailala Block 1, 2 & 3 comprises 265,000 hectares and is one of the largest in PNG.
However, the forest in Gulf Province is logged at a rate that is more than four times the sustainable level. (NFA, Logging Review Report, 2003)
The second largest commercial fishing in PNG is the Gulf of Papua Prawn Fishery and 95% of PNG’s prawn exports are taken from Gulf waters. Gulf of Papua fishery extends over approximately 9,000 square kilometres from the Deception Bay to Cape Possession.
Banana prawn is the main species caught from April to July, which is the main fishing season. This species constitute around 50 percent of the annual prawn caught. Besides banana prawns, endeavour prawns and tiger prawns.
Since 1997 average annual prawn export has been K18 million with an annual production quantity of about 800,000 kg.
The basic forms of agricultural production in Gulf Province in pre-independence years were robusta coffee, copra and rubber. The level of copra production was high in Malalaua Sub-District and generally decline toward Baimuru and Kikori Sub-District. 1n 1972-1973 copra producing was estimated at 612 tonnes. As well as having the highest copra production, Malalaua Sub-District also had a few cattle projects.
Kerema Bay was the main rubber producing area because of Murua resettlement scheme. Between 40 to 70 tonne of rubber was produced in 1972-1976.
However, production of these agricultural commodities declined drastically due to lack of market and transportation services.
In Kaintiba and Kotidanga Sub-Districts soil fertility is sufficient for food crops, chillie and arabica coffee production. According to the Smallholder Market Access Food Supply Project (SMAFSP) 1987 Report, 70 tonnes of arabica coffee was purchased by Hamdei Business Group (HBG) and airfreighted to Lae, Morobe Province. This trend has continued with small-holders continue to sell their coffee to available market in Lae.
Lack of road infrastructure and excessive freight charges on air transport makes it difficult to market the produce.
InterOil has achieved following track record of large scale gas deposit at the Elk/Antelope structure in Wabo:
· ELK-1 discovery of Elk fault block in 2006 – 102 MMcfpd/ 510 BCPD
· ELK-4 discovery of Antelope fault block in 2008 – 105 MMcfpd/1,890 BCPD
· ANTELOPE-1 discovery of Antelope reef in March 2nd 2009 – 382 MMcfpd/5,000 BCPD
· ANTELOPE-2 Flow Test Sets New World Record in Dec. 2nd 2009 – 705 MMcfpd/11,200 BCPD
The benefits to the landowners, local level government(s) of the area and Gulf Provincial Governments will include royalty payments, equity dividends, employment and training, business development and improved government services and infrastructure in the project area and the province.
Offshore Gulf of Papua, encompassing some 250,000 sq km is one of the sedimentary basins that have potential for petroleum deposits. The prospect for petroleum is promising in the Province that has proven reserves offshore natural gas in the Pandora and Pasca natural gas field. The reserves are estimated at 1.57tcfg. Gas from Pandora would feed power plants, mines and other industrial projects in Australia. Gobe and SE Gobe oil fields combined reserve is estimated at 100 million bbls and 274.5 bscf of gas.
Gulf has potential of more than 543.1 mcfg of gas and 600,251.4 mbbls oil in reserves
Currently, Gulf Provincial Government and the resource owners derive monetary benefit from the dividends, royalties and support grants from the oil pipeline from Kutubu oil field.