TAG Oil Gets Approval to Take 70% Operating Stake in NZ's PEP51153

Australia's MEO Australia Ltd. reported Monday that Canada's Australasia-focused oil and gas production firm TAG Oil Ltd. would take over a 70 percent operating stake in petroleum exploration permit (PEP) 51153 in New Zealand's Taranaki Basin from Kea Petroleum Ltd.'s sale.

MEO, which has a 30 percent interest in the PEP51153 joint venture, revealed previously that Kea’s liquidators had entered into a conditional agreement for the sale of its interest in PEP51153 to an existing Operator in the region. TAG already has a presence in New Zealand, with a 100 percent interest in Cheal oil field located 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) west of PEP51153.

"TAG Oil Ltd. has acquired Kea’s interest in PEP51153 and that all conditions precedent related to the acquisition have been satisfied, including New Zealand regulatory approval of TAG assuming Operatorship of the permit," MEO said in the press release.

MEO revealed that the PEP51153 joint venture will work to define in detail the work program for the remainder of 2016 and the forward plan for the acreage. Near term activity will focus on the collection of gravity data, seismic interpretation and the potential to capture operational synergies with TAG.

“MEO sees significant potential value in the PEP51153 permit and welcomes TAG as a low cost Operator with its extensive technical and operations experience in the Taranaki Basin. Having an Operator with TAG’s established local footprint offers the potential for significant operational synergies, helping to ensure that the hydrocarbon potential of the permit can be unlocked in an efficient and cost effective manner. In addition, the revisions to the minimum work program provide the PEP51153 Joint Venture with the necessary flexibility to design and implement the optimal work program to assess the hydrocarbon potential of the permit,” MEO’s CEO and Managing Director Peter Stickland said in the press release.

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