AWE: Umuroa Arrives at Tui

Australian Worldwide Exploration Limited (AWE) said that another key milestone for the Tui Area Development was achieved over the weekend with the arrival of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading ("FPSO") vessel, Umuroa, after a 21-day voyage from Singapore.

AWE Ltd is the operator and owner of a 42.5-percent stake in the Tui Area Development oil project in New Zealand's offshore Taranaki basin.

The arrival of the FPSO marks the beginning of the final stage of development in the project, which remains on schedule to produce its first oil by June 30.

Weather permitting, the Umuroa will this week be connected to its turret mooring system linked to nine pre-installed mooring lines. This system allows the vessel to weather-vane around the turret.

The Tui Area Development is now well advanced, with a number of the key elements completed despite some unfavorable weather in the Taranaki basin in recent months. The most weather sensitive element, the installation of the four mid-water arches, which support the production flow lines from the sub-sea wells, has already been completed. The gas lift lines have also been successfully laid, as have two of the four production flowlines.

After assisting with the Umuroa mooring operation, the offshore construction vessel, Rockwater II, will return to laying the remaining subsea flowlines and umbilicals and connecting them to the Umuroa via the mid water arches.

All four sub-sea well heads and associated trees have been successfully installed and will be progressively connected to the flowlines and umbilicals.

In parallel with the completion of the subsea construction work, preparations for the extensive commissioning of the FPSO processing and subsea well control systems will proceed following the mooring of the vessel.

Status of exploration and development drilling activities

The development drilling campaign is also advancing, with the Tui-2H and Tui-3H wells completed. The Amokura-2H well is currently being drilled with the horizontal production section expected to commence this week. Following the completion of Amokura-2H, the Ocean Patriot drilling rig will be moved to the Pateke-3H well location to complete the final phase of the development drilling.

At the conclusion of the development drilling phase, the rig will be released to undertake the exploration campaign, including the drilling of Hector-1, Taranui-1 and West Cape-1. Further reporting on the drilling program will be undertaken via AWE's regular weekly drilling updates.

The Tui Area Development is located within PMP 38158, in the Taranaki basin, approximately 50 kilometers offshore of the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. When fully commissioned, a production rate peaking at 50,000 barrels of oil per day is anticipated. AWE's managing director, Bruce Phillips, said:

"Despite some inclement weather and a difficult global construction market, we are making satisfactory progress towards our goal of producing first oil safely by June 30. AWE as Operator appreciates the co-operative approach of its many contractors, the Tui joint venturers and regulatory authorities in reaching the important milestones to date. Collectively we remain focused on completing the task and bringing the project safely into production for the benefit of all stakeholders."

Participants in PMP 38158 are:

  • AWE (Operator) 42.5% (New Zealand Overseas Petroleum Pty Ltd 22.5%; AWE New Zealand Pty Limited 20.0%)
  • Mitsui E & P New Zealand Limited 35.0%
  • Stewart Petroleum Company Ltd ("New Zealand Oil & Gas") 12.5%
  • WM Petroleum Ltd ("Pan Pacific Petroleum NL") 10.0%
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