AWE Ready to Spin Bit at Hoki-1 Offshore NZ

AWE reported that the Kan Tan IV drilling rig is on location and is preparing to start drilling the Hoki-1 exploration well. The Hoki-1 well is located in exploration permit PEP 38401 in the offshore Taranaki Basin.

The Hoki-1 well is targeting the oil potential of the Cretaceous North Cape reservoir sequence and the underlying Wainui sandstones. The Hoki-1 well is being drilled by the semi-submersible rig, the Kan Tan IV, which recently completed a successful drilling campaign for AWE in the Bass Basin.

The Hoki-1 well is testing a large anticline, with potential to contain 250 million barrels of recoverable oil, approximately 135 kilometers west of New Plymouth in a water depth of approximately 330 meters, and approximately 85 kilometers from the Tui oilfield. The well is planned to be drilled to a total depth of approximately 3,570 meters.

Hoki-1 is the first well in AWE's 2010 drilling campaign in the offshore Taranaki Basin. Immediately following the Hoki-1 well, AWE will drill at least two wells in the area surrounding the existing oil fields at Tui.

In the surrounding acreage, AWE holds a number of follow-up drilling candidates, which may be drilled later in the campaign if the results of Hoki confirm the critical play elements.

AWE is the operator of Hoki-1 and holds a 50% interest. Additionally, OMV New Zealand holds a 21.25%; Todd Petroleum Mining Company holds an 18.75% interest; and Petroleum Resources Ltd (NZOG) holds the remaining 10% stake in the prospect.

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