NZ can�t afford to ignore deep gas: Austral

AUSTRAL Pacific Energy says New Zealand's Taranaki Deep Gas Consortium must continue investigating ways to unlock the potential of the region’s deep gas reserves.
NZ can’t afford to ignore deep gas: Austral NZ can’t afford to ignore deep gas: Austral NZ can’t afford to ignore deep gas: Austral NZ can’t afford to ignore deep gas: Austral NZ can’t afford to ignore deep gas: Austral

Set up over a year ago by Canadian listed junior TAG Oil and its former president Drew Cadenhead, the consortium was the driving force behind the initial work done to unlock the mysteries of poor performance from some onshore Taranaki gas fields.

Cadenhead suggested tackling this problem through under-balance drilling, horizontal wells, high-angle laterals, different fracture stimulation techniques, different completion methods, or any combination of these.

Advanced Well Technologies of Perth helped with initial data collection work – amassing subsurface data from companies in the consortium.

AWT also helped TAG last year with its poorly-performing Radnor-1A sidetrack well, in mining licence PMP 38157, that flowed poorly from Eocene-aged McKee sandstone formation interval.

The discovery Radnor-1 well three years ago flowed at rates of up to 5 million cubic feet per day before watering out.

But it is understood progress on deep gas has slowed since Cadenhead’s September departure from TAG.

Austral Pacific Energy president Thompson Jewell said it is still important for the consortium and government organisations such as Crown Minerals to continue working to solve problems associated with deep gas.

“I cannot comment on the efforts of AWT, but the deep gas players in the Taranaki Basin continue to support a collaborative learning program that will crack the deliverability challenges of the deep gas reserves,” Jewell told from Wellington.

“While shared access to the few big rigs and limited support services in New Zealand continue to be an issue, there have been significant advancements in completion technologies in analogue basins around the world that are highly transportable.”

Jewell said while deep gas plays were expensive to explore and develop, they could have a significant impact on maintaining New Zealand’s self-sufficiency in gas.

Austral and Cardiff partner integrated energy company Genesis Energy were in the final stages of isolating and testing the primary zone, an Eocene-aged K3E interval, at the Cardiff-2A deep gas well in onshore Taranaki. Results are expected by Christmas.

Austral operates Cardiff and holds a 44.9% interest, while Genesis has a 55.1% stake.