Tui Oil Field Partners Prepare Exploration Drilling Campaign

The Tui oilfield partners have agreed to concentrate on drilling further exploration prospects near the main Tui pool in 2009 and postpone the extra development well.

New Zealand Oil & Gas chief executive David Salisbury also said in a statement that confirmation of a 2009 drilling campaign within the offshore Tui mining permit in Taranaki is expected shortly with the use of the Kan Tan IV rig.

He said there are five prospects near Tui which together are currently estimated to contain 50 million barrels, a similar amount to the 50.1 million barrels, the field’s present proven and probable (2P) reserve estimate, which can remain at this level without the extra development well.

NZOG said no decision has yet been made by the Tui partners on which of the prospects will be targeted in the 2009 campaign.

The Tui operator AWE is understood to be in final negotiations to secure the drilling rig, NZOG said.

Mr. Salisbury said NZOG is very positive about the potential additional value that can be extracted from the Tui area and for the general exploration prospects in New Zealand.

"NZOG is considering a number of possible overseas investments and opportunities, but at the same time, we see good remaining prospectivity in New Zealand and we expect to remain an active player in the local exploration sector."

NZOG welcomed the release by the New Zealand Government of new acreage in the Northland and Raukumara Basins which will close in January 2010.

Mr. Salisbury said the company will carefully assess the new areas. NZOG believes there are a number of other worthwhile leads in the permit.

In offshore Taranaki in PEP 38483, where the 2007 the unsuccessful Hector well was drilled, the joint venture partners of NZOG, AWE, Mitsui and Pan Pacific Petroleum have just completed a seismic survey using the Pacific Titan.

In November NZOG submitted a 100% application for a newly released area that lies to the west and south of the Kupe field in Taranaki. NZOG is also involved in a joint application with its Tui partners -- AWE, Mitsui and Pan Pacific -- for another offshore Taranaki area to the south of PEP 38483.

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