TAG Oil Ltd. on Friday reported that the Sidewinder-4 exploration well, located in TAG Oil's 100%-controlled New Zealand Petroleum Exploration Permit 38748, has been confirmed as a light oil and gas discovery. Along with the three previous Sidewinder discoveries, it is TAG Oil's fifth exploration success in the Taranaki Basin in the past six months.
The results from the Sidewinder-4 well indicate that the targeted oil-and-gas-charged Mt. Messenger Formation sandstones extend significantly to the east of the Sidewinder-1 discovery well. As TAG Oil noted in an April 5, 2011, announcement, the Sidewinder-3 discovery well suggested that the Mt. Messenger Formation sandstones extend significantly south of the original Sidewinder-1 discovery as well.
The interpreted total hydrocarbon column at Sidewinder now exceeds 60 meters (196 feet) in thickness, with no water column evident in any of the Sidewinder wells. Together, the four Sidewinder wells drilled to date indicate that the size and scope of the Sidewinder discovery area is much larger than originally anticipated. Furthermore, the entire permit remains lightly explored and prospective for further oil and gas discoveries, with numerous drill-ready prospects.
The Sidewinder-4 well, which was sidetracked to a location down-dip of Sidewinder-3, targeted a fault-bounded 3-D anomaly, which intercepted a gross 29 meter-thick (95 feet) sandstone reservoir. The total depth of Sidewinder-4 is 1410 meters (4,626 feet), with 19 meters (62 feet) of net oil-and-gas-charged sandstones, with electric logs indicating hydrocarbon charge to the base of the sandstone. Free oil was observed over the shakers during the drilling operation from the target zone. And consistent with all of the Sidewinder wells drilled to date, the oil-and-gas-charged sandstones encountered in Sidewinder-4 have excellent porosity and permeability.
TAG is now preparing to commence the flow testing of the Sidewinder-2, Sidewinder-3 and Sidewinder-4 wells in a few weeks' time. All wells will be placed onto production through the Sidewinder Production Station, currently under construction with anticipated completion by mid-year 2011.
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