The expanded drilling activity, which is a direct consequence of the recent new oil field discovery made by the Amokura-1 well, includes wells on the Pateke and Kiwi prospects. These prospects are located in close proximity to the Tui and Amokura oil fields where the joint venture has recently commenced a review of a possible commercial development of the fields.
The expanded drilling activity is expected to follow the completion of the Pukeko-1 well and the drilling of a further exploration well, to the north of PEP 38460, by another operator. On the current schedule, AWE expects the first of these 2 additional wells to commence drilling in July.
As a result of the expanded drilling program, the AWE exploration program, incorporating both the new wells is as follows:
Amokura-1: March/April 2004
Pukeko-1: April/May 2004
Pateke-1: July 2004
Kiwi-1: August 2004
This expanded drilling program in New Zealand is additional to AWE's 3 well program in the Bass Basin, where the Yolla-3, Yolla-4 and Trefoil –1 wells will be drilled back-to-back commencing in early June.
Commenting on the expanded drilling program in New Zealand, Mr. Bruce Phillips, Managing Director of AWE said:
"We are encouraged by the success of the initial stages of our drilling program in the offshore Taranaki Basin, where the 2 wells drilled to date, Tui-1 and Amokura-1, resulted in wildcat oil discoveries.
"The immediate expansion of drilling activity is indicative of the encouragement the joint venture has received in the results to date
. "The additional drilling is designed to add further recoverable oil reserves adjacent to the known discoveries to optimize a development scheme for the area.
"Success at Pateke-1 or Kiwi-1 would most likely provide AWE with a 4th cornerstone asset area along with the Company's interests in the Bass (Yolla field), Otway (Casino field) and Perth (Cliff Head field) basins."
Participants in PEP 38460 are: AWE New Zealand Pty Ltd ("AWE") 20.0%
New Zealand Overseas Petroleum Limited (operator) ("Transworld") 45.0%
Mitsui E&P New Zealand Limited ("Mitsui") 12.5%
Stewart Petroleum Company Limited ("NZOG") 12.5%
WM Petroleum Limited ("Pan Pacific") 10.0%
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