Pogo Granted Extension to Permit Offshore New Zealand

Pogo New Zealand has been granted a 119 sq km extension to the south of its offshore Taranaki permit PEP 38490 adjoining the north-eastern edge of the Maui gas field.

The original 359 sq km permit, which also borders the Taranaki coast south of Cape Egmont, was issued to the Houston-based parent company Pogo Producing Company in the Taranaki permitting round in February this year.

Pogo is required in the amended work permit to reprocess and interpret almost 700 km of 2D seismic data including 177 km of 2D seismic in the new extension. Acquisition of 3D seismic is also required in the first two years of the permit.

In its second quarter report Pogo Producing Company says it plans to acquire new 3-D seismic data beginning in about December over more than 250,000 acres of its million acres of permit area in offshore Taranaki.

"When processed and reviewed, that new information should lead to exploration drilling in New Zealand by late 2005," the report says.

Pogo is rapidly accelerating its worldwide drilling program over the rest of 2004 with the announcement that it plans to drill 390 wells this year - well above the 248 wells drilled in 2003 which it had then described as "the most ambitious in its 35-year history".