Shell Makes Plans to Develop Pohokura Field

Shell Todd Oil Services' development plan for the Pohokura gas field could potentially cost up to NZ$900 million. Current development plans include the construction of three unmanned platforms, more than 20 production wells, an onshore production plant and a 70,000 cubic meter liquified petroleum gas (LPG) facility. The field is located just off the coast of Taranaki, New Zealand. The $900 million price tag is based on all three platforms being included and the size of the production station. With current reserve estimates of 964 billion cubic feet of gas and 53 million barrels of oil equivalent, the Pohokura field is the country's largest development prospect and is seen as crucial to replacing the aging Maui field.

Appraisal drilling is scheduled for the first half of 2002, with a two-year construction phase expected to begin in 2002. Initial offshore production drilling is scheduled in 2004, with the first gas expected to be delivered in early 2005.

The Pohokura field is 52 percent owned by Royal Dutch Shell but Shell must sell down its stake by three percentage points as part of an agreement to buy Fletcher Challenge Energy earlier this year. Other Pohokura partners are Preussag with around one-third and privately owned Todd Corp with 15 percent.