OMV New Zealand has signed a farm-in agreement for a 30 percent interest in the PEP 51313 license and will assume operatorship on or before March 31, 2013. Including OMV New Zealand, the new 51313 Joint Venture (JV) partners consist of Todd Exploration Ltd (35%), Horizon Oil (New Zealand) Ltd (21%) and Cue Taranaki Pty Ltd (14%), also partners in the Maari JV. The farm-in agreement is subject to regulatory approval.
"This farm-in works well with our strategy to mature opportunities in the Taranaki Basin in general, and in particular, near our core area – the Maari field," explained OMV New Zealand's Managing Director, Peter Zeilinger.
As part of the farm-in agreement, OMV New Zealand will fund an initial single exploration well in the license targeting the Whio prospect near the border between the 51313 license and Maari permit area. The PEP 51313 license covers 1,015 square miles (2,628 square kilometers).
"A successful discovery at Whio could be developed using the existing facilities at Maari. This farm-in is an excellent opportunity to use existing facilities to develop additional resources and complements our other planned investments in and around the Maari field," Mr. Zeilinger said.
The Whio prospect is approximately 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the Maari installations in a water depth of 312 feet (95 meters). Subject to rig availability, drilling is expected to take place as part of OMV New Zealand's campaign slated to begin during the New Zealand summer 2013/14.
In the case of a commercial discovery at the Whio prospect, OMV New Zealand's share will increase to 69 percent under the farm-in agreement.
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