Satellite survey for Taranaki deepwater block

US EXPLORER Global Resource Holdings has taken its second step into deepwater exploration off Taranaki in New Zealand, contracting a British firm to conduct a satellite oil seep detection survey over its large licence in the new year.
Satellite survey for Taranaki deepwater block Satellite survey for Taranaki deepwater block Satellite survey for Taranaki deepwater block Satellite survey for Taranaki deepwater block Satellite survey for Taranaki deepwater block

Company managing general partner Randall Thompson told that UK firm Nigel Press Associates was likely to undertake the satellite oil seep detection survey over the company’s 55,800 square kilometre Outer Taranaki licence PEP 38451 soon, probably during the December-January period.

“The survey will take about a month or so to complete, as the satellite will be passing over offshore Taranaki every seven days or so.

“They will be looking for natural oil seepages on the sea floor, as distinct from any ship discharges at sea,” Thompson said while in New Plymouth, New Zealand, late last week.

He declined to say how much the satellite survey would cost, but he did say the next step after that would be to acquire new proprietary 2D seismic data.

“Global has yet to contract for that job, although there may be opportunities to do so, with rumours that a major seismic company is again bringing one of its vessels to New Zealand waters for a multi-permit shoot next year.

“Perhaps we can tag along with the other joint ventures in that program.”

In August, Global Resource Holdings (GRH) said it was contracting New Zealand’s Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science (GNS Science) to help with the initial work of hunting for elephant-size oil or gas finds in deepwater Taranaki.

GRH said government-owned GNS Science would act as the technical evaluator of all current and future data, including the yet-to-be-acquired seismic.

Chris Uruski of GNS Science, who is project manager for the Global-GNS collaboration, has already described the PEP 38451 seismic leads, mapped from prior seismic data, as “exciting”.

Uruski said Outer Taranaki was further from plate boundaries than onshore and coastal Taranaki, so traps were less likely to damaged, and there was a better chance of finding large oil and gas fields intact than in other parts of the region.

Thompson said his company’s proposed technical work program over the next four years involved reinterpreting and reprocessing existing seismic data, acquiring about 3100km of new seismic, gravity and magnetic surveys, as well as the satellite oil seep detection survey.

GRH was not yet looking for farm-in partners.

“We can fund this stage of the work program ourselves,” Thompson said.

While no wells had been drilled in PEP 38451, some drilled nearby indicated that the area could contain at least one multi-trillion cubic feet gas field or an oil field with 500 million barrels or more of recoverable oil.

“This area could contain some world-class oil and gas deposits. Future studies will, hopefully, confirm this is an exploration area of possible high risk, but even greater rewards,” Thompson said.