Pohokura Production Well Drilled to Record Depth

The first Pohokura production well drilled from onshore into the offshore gas-condensate field near New Plymouth is the longest well ever drilled in New Zealand.

Paul Zealand, general manager of Shell Todd Oil Services which operates the Pohokura field for the Shell-OMV-Todd JV parties, said that OD&E Rig 41, the largest land rig seen in New Zealand, has broken the previous record and was expecting to reach 6500 m along hole.

The production well, named POW-01 was currently drilling the southern reservoir section of the Pohokura field which has estimated reserves of 700 billion cubic feet of gas and 42 million barrels of condensate.

Two further onshore production wells are planned (POW-02, POW-03) with the next well planned for spudding in September.

Mr. Zealand, reviewing other progress on the $900 million Pohokura project in PMP 38154, said the offshore drilling program using the ENSCO 56 jackup rig, is due to commence in January 2006 and is expected to drill six wells.

The Ensco 56 will start its operation with the installation of the platform jacket, topsides and conductors for the single offshore unmanned wellhead platform which will sit in 32 meters of water.

The first offshore well is expected to be spudded in February 2006.

Mr. Zealand said the construction of the onshore plant is advancing with the Fletcher Construction/Transfield Worley JV. The foundation works are nearing completion and the piping installation is set to commence, leading to an increase of activity on the plant site.

A second rig, an onshore horizontal directional drilling rig, was mobilised in August by AJ Lucas Drilling Pty Ltd. The rig will be used to drill two holes 1.8 km in length from the onshore gas receiving area out, under the beach, to a target zone offshore. The two holes, which will be lined, will carry the production pipeline and umbilical line. The two pipelines will then extend from the target zone along the sea bottom to the offshore platform.