VIENNA -- First oil has been achieved from Maari, New Zealand's largest oil field, off Taranaki's south coast. The field, operated by OMV New Zealand, is a joint venture with Todd Energy, Horizon Oil International, and Cue Taranaki. Over its 10-15 year life, Maari is expected to produce 50 MMbbl of oil. A peak production level is expected at approximately 30,000 b/d in 2010.
A drilling rig has been in place at the Maari wellhead platform since November last year, to drill a total of eight wells -- five production and three water injectors. Two wells have been completed; the second one is currently being hooked up to the production facilities. The other production wells will progressively come on stream over the next few months, the companies say.
Over the next two weeks, production testing will take place to ensure that the FPSORaroa is ready to process the field's output. The vessel is anchored 1.5 km (0.9 mi) from the wellhead platform, Tirotiro Moana. The first offtake is expected to occur next month.
Field development, including some further appraisal drilling, is expected to be completed by the third quarter.