Swift Acquires Interest in Taranaki Permit from Shell

Swift Energy New Zealand Ltd has taken over Shell Exploration NZ Ltd's interest in the onshore Taranaki license PEP 38718 and plans to re-drill the Tuihu prospect next year.

Swift Energy confirmed it had reached agreement to acquire an additional 50% interest in PEP 38718 from Shell Exploration, through the existing pre-emptive rights under the joint operating agreement. Following the conclusion of this transaction, Swift Energy will sell a 20% interest in the permit to New Zealand Oil &Gas Ltd, leaving Swift Energy as operator, with a 50% working interest in the permit. Swift Energy also said the new joint venture partners had recently approved the 2003 work program for the permit, which consisted of re-entering and deepening the Tuihu-1 well drilled in 2001 by then operator Fletcher Challenge Energy.

Company president Terry Swift said Swift Energy would either sidetrack Tuihu-1, or drill another well, depending on the condition of the well bore, to reach the targeted objectives and meet work program commitments for the 2003 year.

FCE drilled Tuihu-1 to over 4,500 meters but did not reach the identified seismic anomalies seen at these deeper intervals.