Oil drillers target two prospects

Partners in the offshore Taranaki Tui oilfield plan to drill two more 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 10 kilometres east of Pateke. Both wells are just north of the producing Tui oilfield.

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

PPP said that "if full", the Oi structure was estimated to hold a mean recoverable resource of 15 million barrels of oil.

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

NZOG's share in the Pateke and Oi wells will be 12.5 per cent. PPP will hold 10 per cent of the new Pateke well and 50 per cent in the Oi well.

The Tui Area oil project started producing in mid-2007 and by September last year had produced 33.37 million barrels of oil. The field is expected to keep producing till 2020.

Oil output reached its expected plateau rate of 50,000 barrels a day in late 2007. The current rate is about 5000 a day.

Taranaki Daily News