Initial drilling of the Maari oil field production wells by the Ensco 107 jack-up drill rig has made good progress in the second half of November.
The US$600 million OMV-operated project in offshore south Taranaki is forecast to produce 50 million barrels of crude oil at up to 35,000 barrels a day.
The Australian stock exchange-listed Horizon Oil Ltd, which is a joint venture partner in the Maari project, said that the rig had hammered ten 30" 'stove-pipes' some 36 meters (m) into the seabed below the wellhead platform base.
The stove-pipe installation progressed smoothly ahead of schedule. It marked completion of the first phase of development drilling. Ensco 107 will drill 5 oil development wells and 3 water injection wells into the main Moki sands at Maari.
The next phase well drilling was installation of 24" conductor casings, into eight well slots, to a depth of 260 m. This was programed to take some 14 days.
After installing the conductors, the Ensco 107 will then batch-drill the first three oil production wells.
The Maari field is located in PMP 38160, some 40 km south of the Maui gas field.
First oil is expected around mid February 2009, when the first development well is expected to be completed.
Partners in the development are: OMV 69%, Todd Energy 16%, Horizon 10% and Cue Energy Resources 5%.
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