Discovery Geo Plans Offshore 3D Survey of Awakino Prospect

Discovery Geo (Australia) Corporation is to use the 3D seismic ship Veritas Viking II to shoot a 600 sq km survey from early March, operations manager Bruce Morris said.

Mr Morris said that the Veritas Viking would definitely be collecting data for Discovery Geo in PEP 38479 and tentatively in PEP 38471.

PEP 38479 is a long narrow permit near the north Taranaki coast, south from the Kawhia Harbour to the Awakino and Mokau river mouths. PEP 38471 lies immediately offshore from Cape Egmont, south of New Plymouth.

Mr. Morris said the seismic work would include gathering data over the Awakino prospect and a broad fan system.

The Veritas Viking is currently undertaking a 1100 sq km 3D seismic acquisition program for the larger US independent Pogo Producing Company in its three offshore north Taranaki permits.

The three 100%-owned Pogo permits are PEP 38490, PEP 38489 and PEP 38488.

Pogo's seismic acquisition programme with the Veritas Viking began on January 13 collecting data.

Pogo's fourth quarter report for 2004 said the final data processing from the Taranaki program will be thoroughly analyzed by the company's international geoscience team.

"That analytical program should lead to a meaningful exploratory drilling program in the northern Taranaki Basin by early 2006", the report said.

Pogo chairman Paul Van Wagenen said in the fourth quarter report that although the 2005 capital and exploration budget at US$345m was lower than 2004's US$486m, a high proportion of spending last year was spent on development wells rather than exploration wells. In 2005, a much larger proportion of Pogo's total drilling dollars will be directed to exploration.