NZOG Plans Other Developments Offshore Taranaki

New Zealand Oil and Gas Ltd has spelled out in recent reports some offshore Taranaki petroleum prospects which it plans to drill in the near future.

In the west Maui area within the northern part of the Tui oil field area of permit PEP 38460, there are still a number of prospects yet to be drilled, NZOG says.

Further 3D seismic surveys will be necessary to firm up some of these, while some, like the Weka prospect, are ready to drill when a rig is available. NZOG wants to ensure the initial development is sufficiently flexible to allow tie-in of any new discoveries.

The southern portion of the same PEP 38460 permit is also interesting and consideration is being given to 3D seismic over prospects in that area and over into the adjacent PEP 38483 (in which NZOG has a 15% interest).

Preliminary well design for the offshore Mangatoa prospect on the north Taranaki coast permit PEP 38478 was completed during the quarter and permitting of the onshore drilling location is in progress. The offshore Mangatoa prospect can be reached using deviated drilling from onshore. The Mangatoa joint venture, operated by NZOG in a 50:50 partnership with Origin Energy, is working to introduce a new participant to assist fund drilling of a well which would cost approximately NZ$23 million.

Imaging of the Mangatoa prospect has been improved by detailed analysis of the seismic velocities used for estimating the depth structure.

As a result, NZOG says the estimated potential for Mangatoa has increased to more than two trillion cubic feet of gas, with associated condensate.

Within onshore-offshore PEP 38729, immediately to the south of the Mangatoa permit, the Felix prospect is being investigated as an oil prospect. NZOG says Felix is a large Kapuni C sands closure.

The Felix prospect is 60km northeast of the Pohokura field, but at a depth of 2700 metres is some 1000m shallower than Pohokura. Felix is viewed as an oil prospect possibly with a substantial gas 'cap' in the event of a discovery.

Operator and 75% interest holder NZOG and its 25% partner Origin Energy are conducting some refined analysis of the seismic data, ahead of a drilling decision. Felix is in about 15m of water within 5km of the shore and could be drilled with one of the jack-up rigs likely to be in the area in 2005.

In offshore south Taranaki Basin, west of the Kupe gas field, the operator of PEP 38484 (NZOG's 50:50 partner OMV) is carrying out reprocessing of seismic data, concentrating on what was earlier referred to as one of the "X" prospects, now called Taitapa. Other prospects seen in the permit have not been sustained by new seismic data obtained earlier this year.

Taitapa is a Miocene target at around 1500 m depth which could possibly be drilled by a big jack up rig, but more likely a semi-submersible, NZOG says. A joint venture decision on drilling this prospect is possible around March 2005.