Indo-Pacific and Tap Plan Busy Drilling Program

Indo-Pacific Energy and its partner Tap Oil have confirmed an active onshore Taranaki exploration program for the next nine months.

Indo-Pacific chief executive Dave Bennett said that the first two of perhaps eight wells would be Wawiri-1, scheduled to be drilled in August northeast of the Waihapa field in permit PEP 38753 in New Zealand.

This would be followed by Bluff-1, northeast of the McKee field in PEP 38746. The primary target for both wells would be shallow Miocene-aged Mount Messenger sandstones.

Dr. Bennett said given success at either prospect, pipeline tie-ins to adjacent production facilities could be readily achieved.

Tap Oil managing director Paul Underwood said the Waitoriki-1 well (previously referred to as Clematis Deep-1 from deepening of the 1999 Clematis-1 well) was also scheduled to be drilled late this year, targeting deeper Eocene-aged Kapuni Group sediments in PEP 38741. He said a further four or five wells could be drilled onshore Taranaki from early 2004.

Indo-Pacific also said it had entered into an arrangement with Singapore-based Krystal Corporation Pte Ltd, whereby Krystal would fund 26.4% of the Wawiri-1 well in PEP 38753, as well as 26.4% of the cost of drilling the deep Akama gas prospect in the same permit, to earn a 20% interest.

Dr. Bennett said Akama was a deep-gas feature identified by seismic. He did not yet know when it might be drilled.

Tap says that, subject to confirmation by 2D reprocessing, it planned to drill the Onaero-2 well in PEP 38746 (operated by Indo-Pacific Energy) in the third quarter of 2003. This will follow up the Onaero-1 well drilled by Petrocorp in 1980, which found a 10.5 m gas column in the McKee sandstone.