Ocean Bounty Busy Offshore New Zealand

Diamond Offshore's semisub, Ocean Bounty, has started the first well of a multi-well program offshore New Zealand. Shell Todd Oil Services says the well, Pohokura-3, is located 12 kilometers off the Motunui coast and will be drilled at the northern end of the Pohokura gas-condensate field in PEP 38459. The Pohokura-3 well will target the Mangahewa sandstones and be drilled to a depth of 3800 meters and will help define the northern extent of the field. STOS says the total drilling is expected to be 45 days. If the well is subsequently tested, the total time the rig spends on location will be extended by approximately two weeks.

The Ocean Bounty has two other definite wells planned. for operator Conoco (UK) Ltd in the E-1 prospect in the Northland Basin permit (PEP38602); and for operator OMV Australia Pty Ltd in the Maari field (PEP 38413) in the south Taranaki Basin. A possible fourth well could be drilled by the Ocean Bounty this summer with New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd exploration manager Eric Matthews recently saying that the rig's presence in New Zealand waters was a good opportunity to cost effectively drill the planned Tui-1 well in PEP 38460. However, he said NZOG still had to complete a farm-out before the partners could make a firm commitment to drill. The Tui prospect is immediately northwest of the Maui field.