AWE plans to expand Taranaki drilling program

TUI Area operator Australian Worldwide Exploration is hoping for fine settled weather off Taranaki, New Zealand, over the next few months so it can use the Ocean Patriot to drill an additional well - Kopuwai-1 - in neighbouring acreage before the rig returns to Australia.
AWE plans to expand Taranaki drilling program
AWE plans to expand Taranaki drilling program
AWE plans to expand Taranaki drilling program
AWE plans to expand Taranaki drilling program
AWE plans to expand Taranaki drilling program

AWE managing director Bruce Phillips told from Sydney that the semi-submersible rig had nearly finished drilling Pateke-3H, the fourth and final well in the $US245 million Tui Area oil development in PMP 38158.

“The weather off Taranaki has been diabolical recently, with storms and high seas,” Phillips said.

“However, we are confident of first Tui oil late this month, with the first tanker offtake later in August.

“And, given some fine settled weather, AWE may have some more time with the Ocean Patriot in late 2007, after it has drilled the scheduled Taranui, Hector and West Cape exploration wells,” he said.

The near-field appraisal well Taranui-1 is in the Tui mining licence PMP 38158, Hector-1 is in PEP 38483, and West Cape-1 in PEP 39481.

Phillips said AWE also hoped to slot in the Kopuwai-1 well, in licence PEP 38482, before the Patriot left New Zealand waters.

The Kopuwai prospect is on the southern edge of PEP 38482 and northwest of the Tui, Amokura and Pateke oil pools.

AWE has also recently applied to Crown Minerals for a second five-year term for that licence, Phillips said.

“We have applied for the renewal [of PEP 48482] on a 100% basis, with a commitment to drill Kopuwai as soon as practicable.”

AWE had previously held PEP 38482, and the adjacent PEP 381481, in partnership with Shell, Austrian major OMV and Todd Petroleum Mining. Shell is exiting the licences, both of which expire in August.

In May PEP 38401 was excised from PEP 38481 and granted to AWE (operator with a 50% stake), OMV (31.25%) and Todd Petroleum Mining (18.75%).

At the same time, another licence, PEP 38499, was granted as part of the Tui joint venture's existing Tui acreage and AWE took 100% equity in a third licence PEP 381202.

Phillips also said the CGG Veritas vessel Duke had recently completed an 800km 2D seismic program over the Hoki prospect in PEP 38401.

The PEP 38401 joint venture is scheduled to drill Hoki during the second year of the permit.

Subject to good weather and available time, a further 400km 2D survey might also be acquired over the Toke prospect in PEP 38499, he added.

The Duke has been in New Zealand waters since March, shooting seismic off Canterbury for Origin Energy, off the North Island’s East Coast for Crown Minerals and US independent Pogo Producing Company, and now off Taranaki for AWE.

The Tui and PEP 38499 partners are operator AWE (42.5%), Mitsui E&P NZ (35%), New Zealand Oil & Gas (12.5%), Pan Pacific Petroleum (10%). The PEP 38483 partners are operator AWE NZ (44.317%), Mitsui (22.728%), NZOG (18.864%), and Pan Pacific (14.091%).