OMV Consortium Buys More Time for NZ Drilling Permits

The OMV-led Joint Venture (OMV New Zealand Limited, PTTEP New Zealand Limited and Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Limited) has been granted a one year extension to the drilling decision in its Great South Basin (GSB) permits.

The work program for the three OMV led JV GSB petroleum exploration permits required a decision on whether it would drill exploration wells within three years. The deadline has now been extended to July 10, 2011.

If the decision is made to drill, then drilling would occur within the following year. A total of five wells would be drilled should the decision be made to go ahead in all three permits.

OMV New Zealand said in a statement that the drilling decision will depend on the results of ongoing evaluation of seismic and other geological data.

In the summer of 2007/08 OMV and its GSB partners acquired the largest seismic survey ever undertaken in New Zealand waters -- nearly 16,000 km of 2D seismic covering an area of around 48,000 sq km (~40 % of the size of the North Island). OMV said that the seismic data that was acquired in 2007/08 had now been processed and interpretation is well advanced. With this new work, areas have been highlighted which justify a denser seismic grid pattern for further advanced analysis, which will further improve forward planning.

Therefore, the JV has just started (10 January, 2010) a second seismic survey in its permit areas which will acquire about an additional 2,600 km of 2D data. This program is expected to last approximately 4 weeks, subject to weather conditions. It is being carried out by Singapore-based Reflect Geophysical using the vessel, the Bergen Resolution. The seismic vessel will be accompanied by a New Zealand based chase vessel, the Ocean Pioneer.