The Maari oil field and its adjacent Manaia field in offshore Taranaki have been confirmed as containing more than 100 million barrels of recoverable oil. This is twice as much as the 50 million barrels originally estimated for the main Moki sands reservoir at Maari.
This makes the OMV-operated Maari field the largest crude oil field to be found in New Zealand, with twice the original 50 million barrels found at the Tui fields.
Richard Tweedie, chairman of Maari minority partner Cue Energy (and chief executive of another Maari partner Todd Energy) said the recent additional discoveries at Manaia and the Maari M2A sands plus the main Moki reservoir would together "amount to over 100 million barrels of recoverable oil."
Tweedie said, "Cue's investment in the Maari field has created outstanding results."
OMV had earlier announced that the extended reach Manaia-1 appraisal well would be brought into commercial production after successfully completing a horizontal well into the Mangahewa Formation within the Manaia structure.
The 8 km-long well, the longest well ever drilled in New Zealand, was completed following a 48 day drilling program. Manaia-1 well length is eight times as long as the Auckland Harbour bridge.
The well was drilled by the ENSCO 107 jackup rig from the Maari wellhead platform Tiro Tiro Moana, which then transfers the oil via subsea flow lines to the floating production storage and off-take vessel, the Raroa, permanently anchored 1.5 km away.
Wayne Kirk, managing director OMV New Zealand, said the announcements of extra production from the two fields "are icing on the Maari cake."
"The extra production from the two fields will add to the sizeable benefits the development is already providing the New Zealand economy."
He said the Manaia well will now be tied into the Maari facilities with production due to begin over the next months. Production from the M2A zone well in the Moki sands, 50 m above the main reservoir, is expected to begin by year end.
Another Maari partner, Horizon Oil said the additional reserves will serve to extend the peak rate production plateau of the field. The MR9 well to the M2A zone would produce intermittently when capacity was available.
OMV New Zealand said it would not comment on reserves or production flow rates until a full evaluation of both discoveries had been completed. Horizon reported that the Manaia-1 horizontal well penetrated a Mangahewa section 1.5 km long with a net-to-gross of 60-70%.
Horizon said logs and gas ratio analyses confirm the presence of oil throughout the Manaia reservoir section. There was no revision to pre-drill oil-in-place estimates of 50-60 million barrels at this stage. Horizon said oil-in-place estimates for the Maari M2A zone were 30-40 million barrels.The two additional commercial zones would lengthen the time of the production plateau at Maari as well as extending the economic life of the field.
Horizon also said that there were also two further oil zones at Maari, not appraised in the current field development, but which have been penetrated by earlier exploratory wells. These were the deeper Mangahewa formation at Maari and the shallower Moki formation at Manaia.
Horizon expects these zones to be addressed later in the life of the field.
OMV holds a 69% interest in Maari and Manaia mining permits, Todd Energy 16%, Horizon Oil International 10% and Cue Energy Resources 5%. (Todd Energy also owns 27% of Cue).
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