Todd outlines extensive Taranaki drilling campaign

NEW Zealand’s largest private oil and gas company, Todd Energy, plans a $NZ200 million ($A169 million), two-year exploration program over seven onshore and offshore Taranaki licences.
Todd outlines extensive Taranaki drilling campaign Todd outlines extensive Taranaki drilling campaign Todd outlines extensive Taranaki drilling campaign Todd outlines extensive Taranaki drilling campaign Todd outlines extensive Taranaki drilling campaign

Company managing director Richard Tweedie has revealed four new wildcat and appraisal wells, in addition to the previously reported offshore Maari oil field development wells and West Cape-1 exploration well in licence PEP 38481.

Top of the list is Matariki-1, in offshore licence PEP 38494, which Tweedie says could contain 100 millions barrels (MMbbl) or more of crude oil.

“We are seeking partners and currently talking to a number of companies about farming-in to this exciting offshore oil play,” Tweedie told from Wellington today.

“It’s south of Maari and is a Maari look-alike.”

Todd Energy also plans two appraisal-development wells in the onshore commercial Mangahewa gas-condensate field, as well as the Te Kiri-2 appraisal well in the more western licence PEP 38749.

The Mangahewa wells – the first since Todd Energy took over the field from former owner-operator Fletcher Challenge Energy (FCE) early this decade – reflect Todd’s belief of more recoverable hydrocarbons within the often tight Mangahewa sands of the Eocene-aged Kapuni Group.

“There is no question the gas is there; it’s a matter of recovery,” Tweedie said. “We are a lot more comfortable about the geology now than when we took over the field from FCE.”

The Mangahewa-3 and 4 wells could possibly add 250 billion cubic feet of reserves, he said. The sole producing Mangahewa-2 well produced from only one of several intervals within the Mangahewa sands.

“There are other sweet spots out there to be produced from, or sands that can be successfully fracced,” said Tweedie.

Te Kiri-2, targeting both shallow Miocene-aged and deeper Eocene-aged formations, is scheduled to spud later this month after US junior Swift Energy and partner Ballance Agri-Nutrients finish drilling Kowhai-A1 in PEP 38742.

Todd will also undertake the Karewa-2 appraisal well north of these other wells.

“This is most definitely the biggest exploration program for Todd and essentially is the culmination of Todd Energy going out on its own, no longer being teamed with Shell in all New Zealand exploration,” he said.

Tweedie estimated the drilling program could find up to 580 petajoules of gas and 320MMbbl of oil.

The semi-submersible Ocean Patriot rig, which is scheduled to arrive in New Zealand waters from Bass Strait later this month, is to drill West Cape-1 during its year-long New Zealand campaign.

The Maari partners plan for the Ensco jack-up Rig 107 to drill five production wells, plus three water injection wells, in the offshore field south of Maui during 2007-08.

Todd holds 100% of licences PEP 38749, PEP 38494, PEP 38486 and PEP 38487.

The Maari partners are operator OMV New Zealand, which holds a 69% stake, Horizon Oil (10%), Todd Petroleum Mining (16%) and Cue Taranaki (5%).

The PEP 38481-482 partners are operator AWE NZ, which owns a 40% interest, Shell NZ (through Energy Western Holdings) (20%), OMV NZ (25%) and Todd Petroleum Mining (15%).