Austral Pacific Begins Cheal and Cardiff Drilling Programs

Austral Pacific Energy reports that drilling operations are now in progress at the Cheal-A site in New Zealand.

The SPDL rig has been used to install a permanent wellhead on the Cheal-A3X well which is now ready for renewed production testing. This will commence as soon as operator services are available.

The rig commenced drilling the Cheal-A4 well on October 18 and is presently preparing to set surface casing at a depth of 400 m (1320 feet). The well is being deviated northeastwards from the Cheal-A site to intersect the Mt Messenger sandstones midway between the Cheal-A3X and Cheal-2 intersections.

Cheal-A3X flowed oil from these sandstones at an average rate of 300 barrels per day during the July test. The Mt Messenger sandstones have better reservoir quality at Cheal-2, but that well was situated lower on the flank of the structure, outside the area of oil entrapment. Cheal-A4 is planned to penetrate this better quality reservoir within the area of the Cheal oil field. It is expected that Cheal-4 will have reached its target depth before the end of the month.

The Parker 246 rig is now being rigged up on the Cardiff-2 site, and it is expected that Cardiff-2 will spud on or about October 23. The well is planned to reach its 4900m (16,000 feet) target depth in December with flow-testing planned to follow in December through February.