Texas-based explorer Discovery Geo Corporation plans to drill the Awakino South-1 well offshore from the north Taranaki coast in mid-year using the Ensco-56 jackup rig now drilling at Pohokura.
Bruce Morris, operations manager for Discovery Geo said that current plans are to begin drilling Awakino South-1 approximately 7 km from the coast in PEP 38479 in mid-July.
He understood that the Ensco-56 was scheduled to be released by Shell in May but that the rig would be moved to Nelson for a month or so for maintenance and repairs before being moved back to the Awakino South-1 site.
Dr Morris said the well partners were looking at a sub-thrust Mangahewa sandstone play with the well being drilled to approximately 3,000 m.
A deviated well is going to be drilled, then the drill will be pulled back and a lateral well would be drilled horizontally through the Tikorangi limestone formation. This would test shows recorded in the Tikorangi by the Awakino-1 well drilled in 1985 by Petrocorp.
Dr Morris said that Awakino-1 had drilled through this formation but had not reached as deep as the Mangahewa.
In Discovery Geo's other offshore New Zealand permit PEP 38343 in Cook Strait, 500 km of prospect defining 2D seismic would shortly be acquired to follow up two earlier rounds of seismic.
In PEP 38343 Discovery Geo will be using the seismic ship Discoverer-II once it is finished working for the OMV-led partners in the Great South Basin. The seismic would cover the Campbell lead off Cape Campbell on the eastern coast of Marlborough in the South Island. It would also cover other potential leads further east and south, down the Marlborough coast.
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