Greymouth Hits Pay in Historic Field

Greymouth Petroleum has discovered oil testing at over 200 barrels a day in recent extended wells into the historic Moturoa oil field under New Plymouth's harbor, New Zealand Crown Minerals reported.

Greymouth Petroleum and its 2% joint venture partner in PEP 38 464 the local Maori group Ngati Te Whiti Hapu, announced that their Moturoa-5 and Moturoa-6 wells, encountered multiple oil and gas sands. The onshore wells were drilled in late 2006 and early 2007 in Port Taranaki.

The shallow Moturoa field, where oil was first discovered in 1866, has produced 250,000 barrels of oil mostly in the first 60 years of the 20th century. Some 65 wells have been drilled into the field.

John Sturgess, Greymouth's chief operating officer said the new wells using state-of-the-art drilling techniques had achieved the best oil flow rates ever recorded in the field. Well testing of Moturoa-6 ST#2, at in excess of 200 barrels of oil per day, has confirmed the discovery of significant extensions to the field.

Motoroa-6 was drilled to a measured depth of 1250 meters. Moturoa-6 was then sidetracked horizontally (Mot-6 ST#1 and Mot-6 ST#2) to test the lateral extent of one of the oil reservoirs discovered.

Moturoa-5 was drilled as a deviated well to a measured depth of 2571 meters. Hydrocarbons were encountered in a number of sections in the well.

Gas has also been discovered in both wells in a number of intervals.

Gas zone testing operations are now being considered by the joint venture.

Planning for long-term field development and an application for a Petroleum Mining Permit would follow, Greymouth said.

"Increasing subsurface pressures in recent years has re-activated petroleum production from faults and a number of poorly abandoned wells in the Moturoa area," the company said.

Greymouth and Ngati Te Whiti have produced a total of 5000 bbls over the past seven years from the Republic New Plymouth-4 (RNP-4) well on the harbor shore. The well was originally drilled in 1976.

By contrast cumulative production from Moturoa-6 ST#2 was 1600 bbls in the short period of the testing.

Greymouth produces oil and gas from the Turangi (PMP 38 161), Kaimiro (PML 38 091) Ngatoro and Goldie (PMP 38 148) fields. Greymouth also has exploration permits interests approximating 1043 square kilometers in onshore and offshore Taranaki.