Major review revs up Kupe momentum

Kupe operator Genesis Power has appointed New Plymouth engineering consultancy firm Transfield Worley to carry out a major review of the offshore south Taranaki field.
Major review revs up Kupe momentum Major review revs up Kupe momentum Major review revs up Kupe momentum Major review revs up Kupe momentum Major review revs up Kupe momentum

Genesis chief executive Murray Jackson told EnergyReview.Net that the awarding of the initial engineering contract was a significant step forward in the proposed development of the formerly marginal field.

"Transfield Worley has considerable experience in the New Zealand oil and gas industry and we are delighted they will be helping us with our stated aim of bringing Kupe into production in 2007.

"This study will enable fast track development of Kupe, following the appointment of the new operator, which we hope to announce in October."

The concept study, which will lead into full front-end engineering and design, will essentially involve three stages:

· Reviewing the existing concepts for developing the central field area and evaluating and updating these options in light of recent technological advances;

· Identifying onshore processing, storage and transportation options for Kupe hydrocarbons;

· Identifying environmental and permitting issues.

Jackson said his company had received a number of high quality tenders for the study, all of which exhibited strong competence and experience within Australasia.

Transfield Worley senior projects manager Matt Gavin told ERN he was delighted his company had picked up the relatively small project, which would take about four months to complete and would draw on local expertise and that of TW parent company Transfield in Australia.

Jackson added: "We recognise that the development of Kupe plays a key role in ensuring ongoing gas supplies in New Zealand. The appointment of Transfield Worley to undertake this study is an important step in the development of Kupe."

Genesis last month received Requests for Qualification indications from six international companies interested in taking over from Genesis operator, as well as taking an approximately 40% stake in the Kupe licence PML 38146.

Although Jackson has declined to identify the companies, ERN earlier this month said it believed the bid to operate the gas-condensate field had essentially become a two-horse race between Aussie companies Santos and Origin Energy.

Santos has already obtained board approval to try for Kupe, while Brisbane-based Origin Energy - a long-time explorer in New Zealand, with interests in several onshore and near-shore Taranaki permits - has also visited the Genesis data room in Auckland as part of its due diligence process.

Genesis, present 70% partner and operator of Kupe, along with New Zealand Oil and Gas (19%), has said it wants to buy the New Zealand government's 11% "free carry", a relic of a former petroleum regime, when that interest is offered for sale later this year.

Kupe is New Zealand's second largest undeveloped petroleum resource after Pohokura and has expected probable reserves of approximately 290 Petajoules of gas and 16 million barrels of liquids.

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