MELBOURNE, Australia -- Cue Energy Resources has acquired a 20% interest in petroleum exploration permit 38494 in the southern Taranaki basin, offshore New Zealand. Under a farm-in agreement with Todd Exploration, the operator of the permit, Cue will earn its interest in the block by funding 30% of the cost of drilling the Matariki -1 well.
PEP 38494 is situated 50 km (31 mi) from the New Zealand coast, has an area of 5,341 sq km (2,062 sq mi) and lies in 70 to 100 m (230 to 328 ft) of water. The prospects and leads inventory for the permit includes the Matariki prospect and the Paua and Pike leads.
Matariki -1 will be the first well drilled in the current permit term. The prospect is a four-way dip closure with exploration objectives identified at several levels that are similar to those that have been shown to be hydrocarbon bearing at the Maari field.
According to Cue, it has the potential to contain approximately 100 MMbbl of recoverable oil resource. The company plans to drill the well using the jackupEnsco 107 during the second half of 2009, after completion of the Maari development drilling program and the Manaia appraisal well.