NZEC Receives Nod to Extend Alton Permit in PEP 51151 in Taranaki Basin
New Zealand Energy Corp. (NZEC or the Company) announced that it has received approval from New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (NZPAM) to extend the Alton Permit (Petroleum Exploration Permit 51151) for a second five-year term.
NZEC owns a 65 percent interest and is operator of the Alton Permit, through its subsidiary Taranaki Ventures II Limited. NZEC is exploring the permit in a joint arrangement with L&M Energy Limited (L&M). NZEC and L&M have received NZPAM approval to extend the exploration term of the permit to Sept. 23, 2018. Concurrent with the extension, NZEC and L&M have relinquished 50 percent of the Alton Permit. The new permit area comprises 59,565 acres (241.052 square kilometers), bringing NZEC’s Taranaki Basin portfolio to 159,864 net acres (646.9 square kilometers).
The joint venture partners also received an extension to their obligation to drill the Horoi commitment well, along with approval of a new work program for the Alton Permit. The new work program requires NZEC to drill two exploration wells, process 7.7 square miles (20 square kilometers) of 3D seismic and 12.4 line miles (20 line kilometers) of 2D seismic, and complete a number of technical studies and reports. NZEC plans to drill the first commitment well – the Horoi well – into a Mt. Messenger target commencing in late February 2014.
In June 2013, NZEC lodged an application with NZPAM to convert 4,628 acres (18.73 square kilometers) on its 100 percent-owned Eltham Permit into a Petroleum Mining Permit (PMP) with an initial duration of 15 years. The land included in the PMP application comprises the Copper Moki field and surrounding acreage with petroleum discoveries. Once the request has been reviewed and approved, NZEC will relinquish 50 percent of the remainder of the Eltham Permit (which will have been reduced by the area converted to a PMP) as part of the Company’s application to extend the permit for its second five-year term to September 2018.
NZEC has also applied for an amendment to the work program requirements for its 100 percent-owned Castlepoint Permit in the East Coast Basin. The current work program requires the Company to drill an exploration well in 4Q 2013. The Company has initiated the community engagement and technical assessments required to obtain land access agreements and consents for the selected drill location, and has requested an extension for the drilling commitment into the first half of 2014.
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