OMV Successfully Completes Maari-2 Well

OMV Australia has announced the successful completion of the Maari-2 appraisal well and says commercial development of the Maari field, approximately 35km south of Maui, now looks likely.

The company said its subsidiary OMV New Zealand Ltd, as operator of license PEP 38413, was plugging and abandoning Maari-2 at the conclusion of a successful drilling campaign.

The Diamond Offshore Drilling semisubmersible rig Ocean Bounty reached the target depth of 1495m below rotary table (mRT) on Friday, January 17, and wireline logging operations were completed two days later.

“The results of Maari-2 indicate that the Maari oil field is likely to be commercially viable,” said OMV Australia company secretary Michael Flanagan.

Preliminary results of wireline logs indicated a net 17m of mobile oil was present in three sands within the M2A zone, a secondary objective of the well. This was between 1207-1290 mRT, with no oil-water contact penetrated.

Preliminary petrophysical analysis indicated a net of 41m of mobile oil was present below 1303 mRT in the Miocene-aged Moki Formation, the main target. The quality of the Moki reservoir during drilling of Maari-2 appeared to be at least as good as that encountered with the 1998 Maari-1A sidetrack well, said minority partner Horizon Oil NL.

Two cores were successfully cut through the Moki reservoir, from 1310 - 1334mRT and 1334 - 1358mRT; while five oil samples were collected during logging (three from the Moki and two from the M2A sands.

Last week Horizon Oil NL (formerly Bligh Oil and Minerals NL) said things were looking encouraging at Maari-2, when a 10m interval of hydrocarbon-bearing M2A sands was encountered, double that encountered at the Maari-1 and Moki-1 wells. The thicker sand package in Maari-2 might significantly increase the reserves within the M2A and render them a development target, alongside the main Moki reservoir, said Horizon.

As well, the top of the Moki formation was encountered 12m higher than prognosed.

OMV said a development scheme, based on utilizing floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility was currently envisaged, with horizontal producers supported by gas lift and horizontal water injectors.

Horizon Oil has said development expenditure, assuming leasing of the chosen FPSO, was estimated to be about $US115 million. First production could occur in 2005 at an initial rate of about 30,000 barrels of oil per day.

Horizon currently estimates proven and probable reserves in the Moki formation of the Maari Field to be 35 million barrels of oil and believes there is potential for a further 16 million barrels of oil in other sands at Maari and Manaia.

Horizon bought a 10% stake in Maari from OMV for $US1.5 million earlier this month, while Perth-based Westgold Resources and Carpenter Pacific Resources acquired a 5% stake, through Delta Oilfield Developments, from Todd Petroleum Mining.

Todd Petroleum Mining has said, given a favorable outcome from Maari-2, the joint venture will work towards finalizing an economic development option. Maari is one of two main prospects within PEP 38413 — the other being the Manaia structure. Both are simple dip-closed anticlines at all reservoir levels with top seal provided by interbedded marine shales. Hydrocarbons are encountered at the M2A sands, Moki and Mangahewa formations at Maari, with the same reservoirs found at Manaia.

Production testing of Maari-2 was not required as the Maari-1A well had adequately production tested the Moki oil sand interval.