New Zealand O&G Seeking Resources Consents for Kupe Project

New Zealand Oil & Gas advises that an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) has been completed as part of seeking resource consents for the Kupe project.

The AEE, which has been lodged today with the South Taranaki District Council and the Taranaki Regional Council for review, will form the core regulatory approvals document to support the resource consent process. Developed after nearly four months of close consultation with government agencies, local councils, and the community, the AEE presents a summary of relevant project information, legislation and the findings of specialist environmental investigations.

Extensive discussions have been held with the community to ensure that the project team gets the proposal right, and will continue through forums to ensure public involvement in the council's decision making process. Details such as the impact of marine ecology, air quality and archaeology are described in the AEE and demonstrate that the adverse effects of the project proceeding are minimal.

The proposed development includes installation and operation of new gas production wells, and an offshore platform with a pipeline to shore. The pipeline will link to a new onshore production station west of Hawera where the raw gas will be processed. The pipeline will continue north and connect to the existing gas network at the Kapuni Gas Treatment Plant.

As an alternative to constructing this new facility, negotiations are taking place with NGC to use the Kapuni Gas Treatment Plant to process the raw gas and light oil. If this facility is suitable and commercially available then the above-mentioned new gas production station will not be required for the Kupe project.

The Kupe venture is in the process of pre-qualifying suitable contractors for the construction of the offshore elements of the project. There will be three offshore contracts: platform fabrication, platform installation and offshore pipeline installation. It is expected that pre-qualified companies will be invited to submit full tender proposals in January 2005.

The Kupe project will make a significant contribution towards meeting New Zealand's gas demand, providing approximately 230 petajoules of natural gas and 16 million barrels of light oil over a production life of between 15 and 20 years. There has been considerable public support for the project.

New Zealand Oil & Gas Limited's share of production from the Kupe project is 34.5 petajoules of natural gas and 2.4 million barrels of light oil.

Participants are Origin Energy with 50%; Genesis Energy with 31%; New Zealand Oil & Gas with 15% and Mitsui E&P with 4%.