Origin Energy New Zealand, on behalf of the Kupe Joint Venture, has announced that commissioning of the Kupe facilities has commenced with the wells being opened and the first gas and liquids being piped ashore from the offshore Kupe field to the gas processing plant at Hawera.
Commenting on the project, Origin's Executive General Manager, Major Development Projects, Andrew Stock said, "The complex offshore and onshore Kupe production system is now being bedded down through a commissioning period. We expect that full steady state production will be achieved in the next couple of months.
"Everyone who has worked to deliver Kupe during the past three and a half years has done so, paying particular attention to their own and their workmates safety, as well as the environment, resulting in a project with an outstanding safety record.
"As one of New Zealand's largest projects in recent years, Kupe has drawn on a wide range of industry, community and government resources, from Taranaki and Picton regions in particular and beyond, across the rest of New Zealand. We sincerely thank them for their support."
Origin's Executive General Manager of Upstream Oil and Gas, Paul Zealand, said once Kupe was fully operational it would make a significant contribution for the next 15-20 years to New Zealand's gas supply needs, initially providing 10-15 percent of the nation's annual gas demand when at peak production.
"Once fully commissioned, Kupe is also expected to produce up to 90,000 tonnes per annum of LPG -- more than 50 percent of the country's demand -- and it will significantly reduce the need to import LPG to meet New Zealand's needs," Zealand said.
Over the life of the project Kupe is expected to provide approximately 254 petajoules of natural gas, 1.1 million tonnes of LPG and 14.7 million barrels of light crude.
Kupe Gas Project participants are:
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