SYDNEY, Australia -- Horizon Oil has acquired a 25% interest in Petroleum Exploration Permit 38494 in the southern Taranaki basin offshore New Zealand through a farm-in agreement with Todd Energy.
Under the terms of the farm-in, Horizon Oil will earn a 25% interest in the block by funding 37.5% of the first well to be drilled in the current permit term, most likely on the Matariki prospect, which is ready for drilling. It is intended that the well will be drilled in mid-2009, using the jackupEnsco 107. Drilling will begin after the completion of the Maari development drilling program and the Manaia appraisal well.
PEP 38494 is situated 50 km (31 mi) from the New Zealand coast and lies in 70 to 100 m (230 to 328 ft) of water. The prospective structures are similar to Maari with the same shallow reservoir targets and anticipated drilling depths of around 2,000 m (6,562 ft), the company says.
The prospect and leads inventory includes the Matariki prospect, the Paua lead, and the Pike lead.
Development drilling of the Maari field, initially of the primary Moki formation reservoir, is scheduled to begin soon. During the program the shallower M2A sands that were proved to be oil-bearing during earlier appraisal drilling will be intersected and add-on upside potential assessed. At the end of the drilling program, the rig will be moved to drill an appraisal well on the crest of the adjacent Manaia structure.
Horizon Oil believes PEP 38494 offers the opportunity to further pursue the Maari upside potential. The north-south trending Tasman Ridge within PEP 38494 is seen as a logical southern extension of the Maari and Manaia structures, on-trend and up-dip and thereby well positioned on the hydrocarbon migration pathway that has charged Maari.