Don Morgan, chairman and CEO of Houston-based Swift Energy's New Zealand operations, said all three wells would be drilled from the Kauri E pad, at the northern end of the field, where Kauri E7 is currently drilling.
This will take the number of wells drilled from this pad to 10. The new wells will be Kauri-E8, Kauri-E9 and Kauri-E10. Kauri-E8 is expected to spud in January 2005.
Swift Energy has been the most active onshore driller in New Zealand petroleum exploration recently. In 2004 it spudded 12 wells, 11 of them in the Kauri field.
The Kauri structure in PEP 38719 trends north - south alongside the south Taranaki coast, which trends more north - west. The northern end of the field, where the E pad is situated, is closer onshore and wells from here need to be drilled for shorter distances to reach targeted areas.
The southern end of the permit requires wells with longer reach further out under the sea.
The primary targets for the next three wells will be the Kauri sands in the field which have begun to reveal promise as a substantial gas-condensate producing formation. The Kauri-E4 and E5 wells, drilled this year, have demonstrated combined production rates of 20 million cubic feet/day of gas following fracture stimulation.
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