Two New Zealand Minnows Find Partner for Tui Field

New Zealand Oil & Gas and Pan Pacific Petroleum have brought in a major oil company, which they did not name, to meet a substantial portion of the cost of drilling up to three wells and initially developing the Tui Field located offshore New Zealand. Two wells, Amokura and Pukeko, would definitely be drilled and a third was possible depending on the results of the first two.

NZOG said it would assign 7.5 percent of its interest in the prospect to the new company and retain 12.5 percent, while Pan Pacific said it would assign five percent and retain 10 percent.

If the field is to be developed then initial costs have been put at $9.5 million, of which the two companies said they would each meet five percent.

The prospecting area contains the Tui-1 well and is close to the giant Maui field, the mainstay of New Zealand's petrochemical sector.

"The envisaged program will allow rapid evaluation and decisions for early development if the exploration drilling is successful," NZOG Chief Executive Tony Radford said. He said the area was attractive and believed to contain pools of oil which could be expected to flow at between 5,000 and 10,000 barrels a day. Earlier this year it was estimated that the Tui-1 well may contain more than 10 million barrels of recoverable oil.

Other partners in the prospecting field are New Zealand Overseas Petroleum, which holds a 45 percent stake in the license area, and Australia Worldwide Exploration with 20 percent.