First Light Crude Shipment Set to Leave Port Taranaki

Origin Energy New Zealand ('Origin'), on behalf of the Kupe Joint Venture, announced that the first shipment of light crude will leave Port Taranaki the week of January 17.

The British Chivalry tanker ship will arrive in Port Taranaki on Sunday to begin loading the first light crude from the Kupe Gas Project. The initial 120,000-180,000 barrel shipment is contracted to BP and is bound for the Kwinana Refinery in Australia.

Kupe has been producing natural gas, LPG and light crude since the wells were opened in early December. The light crude has been progressively trucked from the gas processing plant at Hawera and stored at the Kupe Tank Farm at Omata, near Port Taranaki.

Origin Energy New Zealand General Manager, Chris Bush said production of gas and light crude had been proceeding as expected since the commissioning had begun, and the first shipment would be a significant milestone for the project.

Over the next 15-20 years, Kupe is expected to provide approximately 254 petajoules of natural gas, 1.1 million tonnes of LPG and 14.7 million barrels of light crude.

The light crude will be exported to refineries in the Australasian and South Pacific regions over the life of the project.

The complex offshore and onshore Kupe production system is online and operating successfully. Over the next two months Origin, as operator, will continue to systematically test the remaining plant and equipment associated with the offshore and onshore facilities.

Bush said once Kupe was fully operational it would make a significant contribution to New Zealand's gas supply needs. It will provide 10-15 percent of the nation's annual gas demand and more than 50 percent of the country's LPG demand.

Kupe Gas Project participants are:


Origin Energy Resources (Kupe) Limited*	50 percent (Operator)
Genesis Energy	31 percent
New Zealand Oil & Gas Limited	15 percent
Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd	4 percent
*a wholly owned subsidiary of Origin Energy Limited

Origin Energy is Australasia's leading integrated energy company focused on gas and oil exploration and production, power generation and energy retailing.