Maari Platform Installed in New Zealand and FPSO Raroa Arrives

Maari wellhead platform is now installed at New Zealand’s largest oilfield offshore Taranaki and the floating production storage and offloading vessel Raroa arrived on site.

Activity at the OMV operated field about 40 km south of the Maui field has built up ahead of the planned arrival of the Ensco 107 jack-up rig later in June or July to begin drilling the first Maari production wells.

Junior publicly-listed Australian partner in the project Horizon Oil International in its March quarterly report says the wellhead platform was installed on the south Taranaki basin seabed on April 24, 2008.

The Maari wellhead platform designed by the Australian Clough company and built in Malaysia was shipped on a heavy transporter ship Blue Marlin and arrived at the sheltered Admiralty Bay in the Marlborough Sounds at the northern tip of the South Island.

The platform which was built to float on the sea with its single support leg jacked up in the air was floated off the transporter and towed to the site before jacking itself up.

The FPSO Raroa arrived in Wellington on April 26, 2008 before moving to the Maari location in early May.

Fellow junior partner Cue Energy says in its first quarter report that the Acergy installation vessel Toisa Proteus has installed the anchor piles, FPSO connecting buoy and mid arch buoy at the Maari location and is laying the flow lines that will connect the platform to the FPSO.

Development drilling of the five oil producing wells and three water for injection wells, will be undertaken by the ENSCO 107 jack up rig which is currently drilling at the Kupe gas condensate field for Origin Energy.

Cue Energy says first oil, assuming no unexpected weather delays, is expected in September 2008 with oil production planned to increase as each development well is drilled, ahead of peak production around the end of the first quarter 2009 of approximately 35,000 barrels of oil per day.