Kupe Gas Project Clears Regulatory Hurdles

The Kupe Joint Venture reports that all onshore regulatory approvals for the proposed Kupe development have been granted by the Taranaki Regional Council and the South Taranaki District Council and that the final impediments to achieving the offshore consents have now been resolved. The Kupe Venture will request granting of the offshore consents from the Minister for the Environment. This concludes one fundamental pre-requisite for the approval of the project.

The Kupe Gas Project comprises:

  • A normally unmanned offshore platform situated over the Kupe Field in 35 metres of water approximately 30km offshore in south Taranaki;
  • A pipeline and umbilical connecting the platform to the onshore facilitates;
  • A new onshore production station to be located near Hawera producing sales quality gas, LPG and condensate; and
  • Tie-ins to the existing south Taranaki infrastructure.

It is anticipated that the project will be ready for the Joint Venture to make the Final Investment Decision during the first quarter of 2006. If approved it is expected that commercial production will commence during 2008.

The project is currently in detailed discussions with a number of onshore and offshore contractors. Latest estimated project costs are approximately NZD 800 million which is considerably higher than originally anticipated. These increases are due to higher commodity prices, particularly for steel, and the unprecedented level of activity in the oil and gas market around the world which has occurred as a result of high oil prices and the damage caused to facilities by the recent hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. The economic impact of these cost increases is expected to be partially offset by the increased revenues resulting from higher prices for condensate and LPG produced from the field and the impact of increased reserves as previously announced.

The Kupe Gas Project is important to New Zealand’s future security of gas supply and there is significant potential for additional gas resources close to the planned development.

The Kupe South Joint Venture comprises:

Origin Energy Resources (Kupe) Limited 50.0% (Operator)
Genesis Energy 31.0%
New Zealand Oil and Gas Limited 15.0%
Mitsui E&P (New Zealand) Limited 4.0%