Clearly a question about surface tension in liquids.
Surface tension is the elastic property of a fluid surface which makes it acquire minimum possible surface area.
It has the dimension of force per unit length, or of energy per unit area.
In other words surface tension of a liquid is the energy required to increase the surface area by a unit amount. (This energy is stored in the surface membrane of the liquid as its potential energy.)
This implies that
Hence, potential energy decreases with decrease in surface area