Drill rig back for another try

21:20, Dec 12 2012

A big semi-submersible drilling rig familiar to Taranaki waters is to return to try again.

It's the Kan Tan IV, which was last here in 2010 to drill exploration wells for AWE and Origin Energy - none of which was successful.

This time it has been contracted by Austrian OMV for a three-month drilling programme centred on the Matuku prospect 25 kilometres from the Maari oilfield.

The drilling programme is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2013, and the Kan Tan IV will be operating in water depths of about 135 metres. Operated by Frigstad Offshore on behalf of the rig's owner, Sinopec, of China, it is at present anchored off Singapore where it has just undergone an extensive refurbishment.

"The drilling programme at Matuku is part of our ambitious investment programme to find and tap into new reservoirs in the wider Taranaki basin," OMV New Zealand managing director Peter Zeilinger said.

"It will complement OMV's planned multi-well drilling and development plans in and around the Maari field, but it is a separate programme."

The agreement provides for the possibility of additional drilling being added to the planned programme.

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Taranaki Daily News