Discovery Geo and Lindsay Clark, Texas-based Discovery Geo Corporation, plans to drill the first modern era petroleum well in the onshore Wairarapa area of the East Coast Basin from late March.
Bruce Morris, operations manager for Discovery Geo, said that site preparation has been completed for the Ranui-1 well, 15 km east of Masterton, in PEP 38342.
Dr Morris said there had been very few wells drilled for petroleum in the onshore Wairarapa area. He understood Ranui-1 was the first well to be drilled in Wairarapa following a series of field studies and seismic surveys.
He said Discovery Geo would be using the NRG Rover-1 rig which has been imported into New Zealand recently.
He said the well would target clastic Miocene aged sands and pre-Miocene shales down to 1,800 m deep.
Another onshore East Coast basin explorer Trans-Orient Petroleum recently said it saw potential in its unconventional Waipawa-Whangai fractured shale formations, which share similarities to successful fractured shale projects currently being developed in the United States.
Shales within Trans-Orient's acreage have been geochemically typed as the sources of the numerous oil and gas seeps.
The permit covers a 1,815 sq km area around Masterton.
Discovery Geo has also recently been awarded an adjoining permit PEP 50189 to the north and west along approximately 80 km of Wairarapa coast north and south of Castlepoint.
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