Tap Oil Acquires Interest in Taranaki Basin

Tap Oil Ltd has acquired interests in three exploration permits in the onshore Taranaki Basin. Tap's first venture into New Zealand exploration involves farm-ins to three exploration permits, including the Kahili prospect, operated by Indo-Pacific Energy Ltd.

Tap is to spend a total of about $5 million, including contributions to the cost of the Kahili-1A appraisal well scheduled to be drilled in August, and a program of 75 square kilometers of 3D seismic.

Paul Underwood, managing director of Tap, said the Taranaki Basin was at an immature stage of exploration but its prospectivity spoke for itself with around 455 mmbbls of oil and condensate and 7 TCF of gas reserves discovered to date. Taranaki had proven generation and entrapment of both oil and gas, together with a multitude of different play concepts at various levels.

"New Zealand is a favorable investment regime for oil and gas exploration and production and Tap has accumulated considerable knowledge of the area over the past few years in the lead up to this transaction."

He said the successful strategy Tap has applied in the Carnarvon Basin will be equally well-suited to Taranaki particularly in respect of 3D seismic.

This strategy would initially focus on the smaller, low risk/high reward oil-prone Mt Messenger Formation targets at around 2000 m depth using 3D seismic. This would be accompanied by a less aggressive effort on the higher risk/high reward deeper and larger prospects at the Kapuni sandstone level.

Following the farm in, Tap will have earned a 30% interest in PEP 38736 where the Kahili-1A well is being drilled. It will also have a 50% interest in PEP 38741 and PEP 38723, two adjoining permits south of Inglewood, which lie between the Ngatoro field to the west and the McKee and Tariki fields to the east. All three permits in which Tap is involved, are operated by Indo-Pacific Energy.

Mr. Underwood said Tap had also jointly bid for other nearby onshore Taranaki blocks in the current Onshore-Nearshore Taranaki permitting round, the results of which are yet to be announced.


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