Pogo says in its second quarter report that drilling of at least one well off Taranaki is currently scheduled for a third quarter 2007 spud.
Pogo's senior vice president and regional manager Asia and Pacific, Gerry Morton, also said separately that the company's wholly owned subsidiary Pogo New Zealand is finalising a contract for additional 2D seismic data next year in Pogo's newly acquired East Coast permit.
Mighty River Power now has interests in five offshore Taranaki permits with three different partners as well as interests in onshore Taranaki drilling.
Mighty River Power acquired in June 2006 a half stake from Pogo New Zealand of its three offshore Taranaki blocks PEPs 38488, 38489 and 38490 to the north and south of New Plymouth. Pogo New Zealand continues to operate all three while Mighty River is participating as an active non-operating joint venture partner. Mighty River also has a 40% interest in the offshore Taranaki PEP 38491 north of the Pogo blocks, in a joint venture with 40% operating partner North Taranaki Exploration Ltd and 20% partner Westech Energy.
Mighty River Power is currently active in upstream operations through a 50% partnership with Swift Energy for three wells in the Tarata Thrust project in the onshore Taranaki and another 50% stake with Swift Energy in the offshore PEP 38495 south of the Rimu and Kauri fields.
Pogo New Zealand completed a portion of the initial technical program (2D seismic reprocessing, 3D data acquisition and processing) in the three offshore Taranaki permits before Mighty River joined.
Pogo New Zealand has now become a significant explorer in offshore New Zealand with the award recently of a new 8400 sq km offshore East Coast Basin permit (PEP 38 344) in the Hawke Bay. Pogo plans to acquire at least 1500 km of 2D seismic data next year and could later drill up to two exploration wells in the permit at an estimated expenditure of about NZ$70 million.
Mr. Morton said that having Mighty River Power as a partner in its Taranaki blocks will bring a number of synergies between the two companies.
He advised that Pogo also intends to take one or more partners in the East Coast Basin permit, even though Pogo has the financial and technical capability to fulfill its work commitments by itself.
He said Pogo has commissioned a regional study of the East Coast area and has commenced reprocessing the available 2D data.
Recently Pogo has lodged another application with Crown Minerals for a 17,000 sq km extension to its East Coast permit that, if granted, would triple the original acreage and stretch from East Cape to northern Wairarapa.
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