Ensco 107 Ready to Spin Bit at Albacore Prospect Off NZ

The joint venture for the Albacore permit (PEP 38491) has taken assignment of the drilling rig ENSCO-107, which will be used to drill the Albacore-1 exploration well.

NZOG (New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd) has a 40% share in the Albacore permit, which lies in the northern Taranaki Basin, approximately 70km north of New Plymouth.

The ENSCO-107 is a jackup rig that recently completed drilling at the Maari field in the southern Taranaki basin. It has been in Taranaki waters since October 2007 and prior to Maari drilled the Kupe development wells and the Momoho exploration well for NZOG and its partners.

The rig was towed away from the Maari production platform last night and was officially assigned to the Albacore joint venture at midnight.

The rig is now being towed north towards the Albacore drilling location, a journey which will take approximately 24 hours. Once on site it will be secured on the sea bed and commence preparation activities. A tensioner deck that was removed for the Maari drilling will be reinstated, ahead of spudding the well.

The Albacore-1 well is expected to take around 20 days to drill. The water depth is 95 meters, and the total drilling depth is likely to be around 2200 meters.

Weighing approximately 16,000 tonnes, the ENSCO-107 stands 157 meters high and is 63 meters wide. Once at the new drilling location, around 100 drilling team members and support staff will live onboard the rig.

Three separate target zones that may contain oil or gas will be targeted by the Albacore-1 well. At the end of the drilling, the well will be plugged and abandoned and the results analyzed.

Participants in Albacore permit are:

  • Westech (Operator) 50%
  • New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd (through its subsidiary NZOG Offshore Ltd) 40%
  • Mighty River Power Gas Investments 10%