Two new oil exploration wells off Taranaki coast

Last updated 14:15 29/01/2013

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Partners in the offshore Taranaki Tui oil field plan to drill another two wells in the permit area, late this year.

New Zealand Oil & Gas and fellow NZX listed company Pan Pacific Petroleum announced plans to drill the Pateke 4H infill development well and the Oi exploration well, about 10kms east of  Pateke. Both wells are just north of the producing Tui oil field.

Australian based operator of the permit, AWE, has negotiated an agreement to use the semi-submersible drilling rig, Kan Tan IV to drill the wells in the second half of this year.

PPP estimates that Pateke 4H had the potential to recover an extra 2 to 4 million barrels of oil from the Pateke field, and if successful first oil would flow by the end of next year after a subsea tie-in to the Tui field.

PPP said "if full" the Oi structure is estimated to hold a mean recoverable resource of 15 million barrels of oil. It could also be tied in to the Tui production facilities at sea.

If the prospects come in as commercial finds, they would enhance and extend the life of the Tui fields.

NZOG chief executive Andrew Knight said the company was stepping up exploration, in what he called "exciting prospects" at Pateke and Oi.

Drilling is also planned in the coming season at the Matuku, Kaheru and Kakapo prospects off Taranaki.

NZOG's share in both the Pateke and Oil wells will be 12.5 per cent.

Pateke 4H targets an extension of the field that is not currently being accessed by the producing Pateke 3H well.

Pan Pacific will hold 10 per cent of the new Pateke well.

But PPP will take a 50 per cent holding in the new Oi exploration well, 13 kms north east of Tui, in about 120 metres of water. NZOG holds a 15 per cent stake in PPP.

PPP will lift its holding in Oi to 50 per cent under the sole risk provisions of the Tui joint operating agreement.

AWE which holds 42.5 per cent of Tui and Pateke will take a reduced holding of 25 per cent in Oi. Another partner Mitsui will also accept a lower holding of 12.5 per cent.

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