WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) has commissioned the Reflect Resolution vessel to acquire regional seismic across the offshore Taranaki basin.
The program should get under way early in May. NZOG says that by tying in the resultant 600 km-plus (373-mi) of new seismic lines into previous wells, it will be better able to evaluate the region’s complex geological evolution and its impact on petroleum system elements.
This should help the company determine the timing and location of oil and gas charge and migration pathways. NZOG adds that no other operator in the area has attempted such a comprehensive approach, which it believes will give it an edge in assessing prospectivity of the southern and western offshore Taranaki basin.
In permit PEP 51311 in the southern part of the basin, awarded early in 2009, NZOG has acquired 500 km (310 mi) of new 2D seismic, reprocessed existing data, and mapped a wide-ranging portfolio of prospects and leads.
The acreage lies within the same petroleum system that has charged the Moki sands which contain the Maari oil field reservoir, 20 km (12 mi) to the west, and the Farewell sands of the recently onstream Kupe field 20 km to the east.
NZOG believes the major prospect is Kaupokonui, a stacked series of Motueka coastal sands which are laterally truncated and thought to be sealed by deep canyons. There could be 200 MMbbl-plus of recoverable oil in the structure’s main objective horizon.
The company hopes to attract one or more partners to share the costs of at least one exploration well, which must be drilled by next January, according to the contractual terms.
NZOG also hopes to farm out part of its 40% interest in exploration permit PEP 38259 in New Zealand’s offshore Canterbury basin. The acreage includes the high relief anticlinal dome prospect Barque, and the Galleon well drilled in 1986, which discovered sub-commercial gas and light oil.
The company must commit to a well by August, but drilling will require a deepwater-capable rig, which would probably need to be mobilized in conjunction with other deepwater projects in the southern New Zealand region. Around 75 km (46 mi) to the southwest, Anadarko and Origin Energy plan to drill a similar structure in deeper water.