AWE builds dominant offshore Taranaki position

AUSTRALIAN Worldwide Exploration has acquired three new offshore Taranaki exploration licences, including one as part of the Tui joint venture’s existing Tui Area acreage and the same partnership’s Hector prospect.
AWE builds dominant offshore Taranaki position

AWE builds dominant offshore Taranaki position

AWE builds dominant offshore Taranaki position

AWE builds dominant offshore Taranaki position

AWE builds dominant offshore Taranaki position

The other two blocks are PEP 38401 (in which AWE holds a 50% stake), which was acquired in partnership with Austrian major OMV and Todd Petroleum Mining, and PEP 381202, in which Awe has taken a 100% stake.

Both of these permits lie north and northwest of existing licences PEP 38481 and 38482, which are held in partnership with Shell, OMV and Todd.

AWE is acting as operator in all of its Taranaki leases.

AWE managing director Bruce Phillips said AWE and its partners planned some aggressive exploration campaigns over the licences.

“The acquisition of the new permits is consistent with our view that the area remains under-explored with potential for the discovery of significant oil and gas fields,” he said.

An 800km 2D seismic program was planned to start shortly over the Hoki prospect, which straddles PEP 38401 and PEP 38481.

Subject to available time, a further 400km 2D survey could also be acquired over the Toke prospect, west of Maui, in PEP 38499.

The joint venture is committed to drilling the Hoki prospect during the second year of the permit.

In PEP 38401, the joint venture’s work program obligations include acquiring about 800km of 2D seismic in the first year.

Existing PEP 38481-38482 partner Shell New Zealand would not be participating in PEP 38401, which was excised from PEP 38481 and granted to the other partners in that block – AWE, OMV and Todd.

Meanwhile in PEP 381202, AWE has decided to go it alone.

“We believe that this is a different play concept, different risk profile, and we want to work that up ourselves,” Phillips told

In PEP 381202, AWE’s work program obligations during the first two years include reprocessing about 1000km of 2D seismic, completing petrophysical studies, and doing time and depth mapping, focusing on the Paua Prospect.

It will also shoot, process and interpret about 700km of new 2D seismic before committing to drill a wildcat well in the third year.

“This is a bit higher risk and something we would not have done five or six years ago, when oil prices were low,” he said.

AWE is now the dominant acreage holder in the offshore Taranaki Basin and Phillips said these new acquisitions demonstrate the company’s long-term commitment to New Zealand’s energy future.

The new AWE-operated permits and partners are PEP 381202 – AWE (100%); PEP 38401 – AWE (50%), OMV (31.25%), Todd Petroleum Mining (18.75%); PEP 38499 – AWE (42.5%), Mitsui E&P NZ (35%), New Zealand Oil & Gas (12.5%), Pan Pacific Petroleum (10%).

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