Trans-Orient, which is in the process of merging into TAG Oil Ltd, said it has competed the 487 m first stage of the Boar Hill-1 well in PEP 38349.
The shallow section of the well provided some encouraging preliminary data, as drill cuttings "head gas" analysis indicated progressively more oil-rich readings as the well penetrated the Oligocene strata, reaching full depth in the Weber Formation.
Two stages were drilled to provide critical information for the deeper section of the Boar Hill-1 well, and to avoid any potentially problematic surface drilling.
Planning is now underway to drill the second stage Boar Hill-1 well to fully penetrate the fractured oil-shale in the Waipawa Black Shale and the Whangai Formations at an anticipated depth of 1,600 m.
The three shallow test wells at Waitangi Hill are planned to gather stratigraphic core data in and around the historical shallow oil discovery first drilled in 1912.
Live oil from an existing open well bore has been analysed with results indicating it came from the underlying Whangai Formation, which is both a source-rock and fractured shale reservoir target.
Two North American-based engineering firms Sproule International Ltd and AJM Consultants have independently reviewed the conventional and unconventional potential of Trans-Orient's properties and recognized the Waipawa Black Shale and Whangai Formations as viable shale source-rocks, rich in total organic carbon, which continue to generate oil and gas within the shale.
Trans-Orient also said the business combination earlier announced with Taranaki Basin producer and explorer TAG Oil Ltd (with Trans-Orient becoming a 100%-controlled subsidiary of TAG) is scheduled to be completed by December 15, 2009.
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