Engineering studies on final options for the offshore Taranaki Maari oil field development have come down to two dry-tree surface concepts with the rejection of subsea wellheads, Maari partner Horizon Oil says in its December quarter report.
The Maari field, in 100 m of water, 80 km from the Taranaki coast, is the largest undeveloped offshore oil field in New Zealand containing a P50 estimate of 50 MMbbl of recoverable oil in the Moki formation.
Horizon says that subsea wellheads had been rejected on risk and economic grounds after significant engineering effort.
The surface development concept has been narrowed down to either a jackup drilling and production unit with an FSO vessel or a minimal facilities wellhead platform with a FPSO vessel.
The two options are the subject of detailed definition studies at present for Maari operator OMV New Zealand Ltd.
A final concept selection on Maari is to be made in April with the final investment decision in mid-2005.
The subsurface development plan has been finalized with horizontal wells and the completion of detailed studies confirming the design of the waterflood scheme.
The development will include the flexibility to tie-in the Maari M2A level reservoir and the separate Manaia structure nearby to Maari, where the Maui-4 well flowed oil at the time of the original Maui field discovery.
Design and construction of the Maari project is planned from mid-2005 with production coming online in mid 2007.
Meanwhile Cue Energy, which recently moved its base from New Zealand to Melbourne, has bought a 5% stake in PEP 38413 from Delta Oil Taranaki Pty Ltd.'s (Delta) for A$6.2 million.
Cue has raised a total of A$18 million by private placement of 60 million ordinary A30 cent ordinary shares to help fund development of its share of the Maari field.