Greymouth JV Re-enters Historical Moturoa Well

Greymouth Petroleum and Ngati Te Whiti have re-entered the Moturoa-2 well located in the Taranaki field east of Ngamotu Beach on New Zealand. This is an historic event since the Moturoa-2 well was first drilled over 70 years ago. It was drilled in 1931 and finally closed in 1972 after a four-decade career, during which it produced an estimated 80,000 barrels of crude oil.

The plan is to rejuvenate the well so it meets modern standards, and hopefully discover that in the years it has been closed, its underground reserves of oil have built up again. "It'll be interesting to find out what's happened after all those years," said Greymouth Petroleum's chief operating officer John Sturgess.

"Of course the well might be full of just water – but we're confident there will be oil. And if that proves to be the case, we might decide to drill again elsewhere in the Moturua field."

The joint venture will also be hoping that Moturoa-2 doesn't prove to be as troublesome as it was the first time it was drilled. It was the scene of several spectacular gas blowouts, which caused beach cottages in the vicinity to be showered in oil, mud and debris. There was also a fire, which destroyed the drilling rig. But this time, Mr Sturgess is confident the 10-day drilling operation will run smoothly. "We'll be repairing the well if necessary, and drilling a little deeper than it is now, just in case there is junk at the bottom of the hole. Overall, it's not a big job," he said.