NZOG farms into Taranaki concession

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) has agreed conditionally to take a 40% stake in offshore permit PEP 38491 in the northern Taranaki basin.

Offshore staff

WELLINGTON -- New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) has agreed conditionally to take a 40% stake in offshore permit PEP 38491 in the northern Taranaki basin.

The permit, covering 715 sq km (276 sq mi), is around 80 km (49.7 mi) north of New Plymouth, in an average water depth of 95 m (311 ft). Westech, a subsidiary of Energy Corp. of America, remains operator, with New Zealand state-owned Mighty River Power the other partner.

According to NZOG CEO David Salisbury, there are three separate play fairways within the permit, one Pliocene fan and two Mangaa sands.

Numerous prospects have been identified. The jackup Ensco 107 is due to drill the first exploratory well on the Albacore structure in October-November, at a cost of NZ$20-25 million ($13.7-17.1 million).

The Albacore-1 well targets structures at depths of 1,400-1,800 m (4,593-5,905 ft) as defined recently by 3D seismic. NZOG’s internal analysis suggests Albacore is more prospective for oil than gas.

NZOG and its partners in Tui plan to drill at least two more wells near this field in the summer season, starting with Tui North East. Depending on the results, another will follow on either Tui South West East or Tui South East. In the same basin, the company will also participate in a well on the Hoki prospect, to be drilled by the semisub Kan Tan IV.

08/26/2009

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