Shell New Zealand Takes Over Great South Basin Exploration

WELLINGTON - Royal Dutch Shell PLC's unit Shell New Zealand has taken over control of a joint-venture exploration in the Great South Basin, saying there are good indications of natural gas after NZ$100 million (US$80 million) of exploration in the "frontier" area, Fairfax-owned news website Stuff reported Friday.

Shell has assumed operatorship of the New Zealand exploration license PEP 50119 in the Great South Basin from joint venture partner OMV New Zealand, a unit of Austria's OMV AG. The basin is located off the coast of New Zealand's South Island.

Rob Jager, the chairman of the Shell companies in New Zealand, was quoted as saying a final decision on drilling an exploration well would be taken at a later stage, with a possible time frame for a test well being in the southern hemisphere summer of 2014/15.

The cost of drilling a single offshore well in New Zealand was in the order of NZ$200 million given the expense of bringing a specialised rig from somewhere like the Gulf of Mexico, the report said. 


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