Port Taranaki well spuds with help from Nabors

NEW Zealand private explorer Greymouth Petroleum has spudded Moturoa-5, the company’s first well at Port Taranaki, using the recently imported Nabors International Drilling Rig 647.
Port Taranaki well spuds with help from Nabors Port Taranaki well spuds with help from Nabors Port Taranaki well spuds with help from Nabors Port Taranaki well spuds with help from Nabors Port Taranaki well spuds with help from Nabors

The Nabors rig – now known as Greymouth Drilling Rig 2 – arrived at the New Plymouth port last month after several years of being stacked since last working on Western Australia's Barrow Island.

Auckland-headquartered Greymouth then spent about a month refurbishing the rig before new local drilling company Bonus Drilling New Zealand spudded Moturoa-5 earlier this month.

Moturoa-5 is being drilled from reclaimed land at the port, but the well is being deviated out under the harbour, targeting multiple objectives inside and outside the port boundary down to the Miocene-aged Moki Formation.

Greymouth chief operating officer John Sturgess has said the maximum target depth is likely to be about 2600m. But he declined to give any pre-drill estimates of possible recoverable reserves or when TD is likely to be reached.

However, he has said everything was going to plan with the drilling operation.

“We are very happy with the performance of the new contractors to Taranaki, Bonus Drilling, and others, such as Scientific Directional Drilling, Kayden Centrifuges and GMP-Environmental, for waste handling,” Sturgess told PetroleumNews.Net.

Two years ago, Grant Geophysical acquired three square kilometres of inshore 3D seismic data within the port boundaries for Greymouth as a prelude to drilling Moturoa-5.

Greymouth operates licence PEP 38464, which covers both onshore and offshore areas and includes the historic Moturoa oil field, and holds 98% equity. Local Maori group Ngati Te Whiti Hapu Society owns the remaining 2% interest.

The Moturoa field – one of the first in the former British Empire – produced about 250,000 barrels of oil over several decades before closing in 1972.

Moturoa-5 is the latest of several wells drilled or re-entered during the past few years with limited success.

Early this decade, then-operator GeoSphere Exploration re-entered the old Republic New Plymouth-4 well with mixed results, with the well producing only small amounts of crude from shallow formations on an intermittent basis.

Then in mid-2003, Greymouth re-entered the historic Moturoa-2 well, which was first drilled in 1931 and closed 41 years later after producing about 80,000 barrels of crude oil. But that re-entry also produced only small amounts of liquids every now and then.