Kea Secures Approval for NZ's Permit PEP 381204 Work Program

Kea Petroleum plc, the oil and gas company focused on New Zealand, disclosed Wednesday that on Oct. 10, New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (NZP&M), the government oil and gas regulatory agency, approved a new committed stage of the work program in respect of Petroleum Exploration Permit 381204. The permit is located part onshore and part offshore in north Taranaki, New Zealand.

Kea drilled Mauku-1 on PEP381204 during 2Q 2013. Mauku-1 intersected good quality Mangahewa "C" sands (528 feet or 161 meters net thickness) in a sub-thrust target. The sands were water wet.

Remapping of the seismic data, and 76 miles (123 kilometers) of new pre-stack depth migration post Mauku-1, shows the well was drilled significantly down dip of a 7.72 square miles (20 square kilometers) structural closure at Mangahewa level, and shows a larger closure at mid-Cretaceous Taniwha formation level.

The new work program comprising 9 miles (15 kilometers) of 2D land based seismic reflection data will extend the data coverage over the 7.72 square miles (20 square kilometers) structural closure at Mangahewa level. This will help to define a better well location. Kea is in discussion with potential industry partners to farm-out the Mauku prospect.


On Oct. 13 NZP&M accepted Kea's notice of surrender of Area A of Petroleum Exploration Permit 51153. Kea, with JV partner MEO New Zealand Pty Limited, determined that prospectivity in the 7.63 square miles (19.787 square kilometers) area was insufficient to justify further exploration expenditure. The larger Area B (32.69 square miles or 84.673 square kilometers) around the Puka production site has been retained.

Ian Gowrie-Smith, chairman of Kea, commented: "We are pleased to have come to an agreement with NZP&M that eliminates the need to commit to and finance the drilling of Mauku-2 during the coming 12 months and replaces it with a relatively inexpensive seismic program. Since the drilling of Mauku, Kea and Methanex have carried out a substantial PSDM program and remapped a very exciting structure to the North East of Mauku-1. The seismic program should help clarify this prospect further and give the Company additional time and ammunition to find a farm-in partner. Kea always envisaged that Mauku-1 would need to be drilled to enable the structure to be accurately defined." 

This release has been approved by non-executive director Peter Mikkelsen FGS, AAPG, who has consented to the inclusion of the technical information in this release in the form and context in which it appears.


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