Greymouth Petroleum and Ngati Te Whiti Hapu have confirmed the award of Moturoa Mining Permit 50509 to the Greymouth Petroleum Ngati Te Whiti Hapu Joint Venture (NTWGP JV).
New Zealand's Moturoa oil field was amongst the first produced anywhere in the world. In 1865, the first petroleum lease was granted and the Alpha well was commenced using picks and shovels, with a tripod/derrick erected over the well when it got deeper. In 1866, the discovery of oil at Moturoa was announced. Over the next 130 years, 65 Moturoa wells were drilled, from which 250,000 barrels of oil were produced.
Oil production operations at Moturoa were suspended after the oil refinery in New Plymouth, which was associated with the Moturoa field, was closed following purchase by Shell BP Todd. Increasing subsurface pressures in recent years has re-activated petroleum production from faults and from a number of poorly abandoned wells in the Moturoa field area.
The Moturoa exploration permit was granted in 1997. The Republic New Plymouth-4 (RNP-4) well, drilled in 1976, was brought back into oil production by the NTWGP JV in 2000. RNP-4 has remained on production since 2000, and has been valuable in the collection of data utilised in a recent drilling program. Cumulative production from RNP-4 totalled 5000 bbls over the 7 year period, whereas the MOT-6 well recently drilled produced at rates of up to 200 barrels of oil per day in the short period of well testing that followed.
Lara Walker, Greymouth spokesperson, said, "We are delighted with the award of the Moturoa Mining Permit. Greymouth's joint venture with the Ngati Te Whiti Hapu is ground breaking in the petroleum industry in New Zealand."
Grant Knuckey of the Board of Trustees of The Ngati Te Whiti Hapu (Society Inc.), said, "We welcome the grant of this petroleum mining permit to produce oil at Ngamotu Beach and we look forward to the economic benefits that it will bring to the New Plymouth District and community." The Trustees of The Ngati Te Whiti Hapu joined with Greymouth in thanking the Minister of Energy, the Port of Taranaki, the Taranaki Regional Council and the New Plymouth District Council for their support in this historic venture.
Greymouth Petroleum group companies hold the Turangi, Kowhai, Moturoa, Kaimiro, Ngatoro, Surrey, Windsor and Radnor oil and gas fields in Taranaki. In addition to these fields, Greymouth holds exploration permit interests in the Taranaki and Great South Basins. In Chile, Greymouth's PetroMagallanes business holds oil and gas properties throughout the Straits of Magellan and on the Island Tierra del Fuego. In September, 2009, Greymouth announced it had entered commitments to add the Tiger Drilling Rig, then being imported to New Zealand, to its rig fleet. The Tiger rig has been placed into service in a multi-well drilling campaign in Taranaki.
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