Westech to Test Flow Waitahora-1 East Coast Well

Denver-based Westech Energy has successfully drilled the Waitahora-1 well in the onshore East Coast Basin and is to begin a test flow at the well in mid-July.

Dennis McGowan, Westech's parent company Energy Corporation, America's business development vice-president said from Denver that the company is also shipping part of the gas reservoir drill core to Houston for detailed analysis.

He said Westech wanted a special analysis done by a US laboratory because the company wanted to learn more about the reservoir rock which contained highly pressured gas.

In April, the Ensign Rig 19 finished drilling the Waitahora-1 well which was offset a few hundred meters from the original 1998 gas discovery Kauhauroa-1 well a few kilometers north of Wairoa.

Waitahora-1 was drilled to a depth of 1,350 meters and the well encountered a high reservoir pressure over a 70 meters interval from 1,180-1,250 meters deep.

The Kauhauroa-1, also drilled by Westech, flow tested about 11 million standard cubic feet per day of gas in the over pressured formation.

Mr. McGowan said the unusually high reservoir pressure in the Waitahora-1 could mean significant gas reserves at relatively shallow depths.

After the well test and core analysis, Westech may carry out a 3D seismic survey of the area.

Earlier this year Westech said that under the work program for the PEP 38 346 exploration permit, a second well is planned in the third year of the permit, probably to drill the flank of the structure to investigate whether there is better sands development there. A third well is planned for the fifth year.

Mr. McGowan said the economics of developing a gas field has improved greatly since 1998.

Earlier this year he said Westech would be looking at the possible use of gas for generating electricity and would also be talking to other potential industrial consumers in the area.