The Honeysuckle-1 and Miromiro-1 exploration wells in onshore Taranaki will follow Cheal-A3X.
The Company also announces that it is securing inventory and permits for the drilling of the Cardiff-2 appraisal/development well. This well is planned for Third Quarter, 2004; and will drill to 4,900m (16,000 feet) to test an extensive set of gas charged reservoirs encountered below 4,000m (13,000 feet) in the Cardiff-1 well, drilled by Shell in 1990.
The Cardiff Prospect is the largest of several deep gas targets within Austral's onshore Taranaki permits. Other targets now defined for drilling include the Onaero North and Waitoriki Prospects, with several further targets requiring additional exploratory work before commitment to drilling.
These deep gas targets all have the potential to significantly address New Zealand's burgeoning energy problems and gas supply squeeze; which are the subject of ongoing and intense concern and debate within industry, media and political circles. The recent New Zealand Petroleum Conference and this week's National Power New Zealand conference are heavily focused on this issue.
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