US company tight-lipped on NZ shale play wildcat

US INDEPENDENT Discovery Geo Corporation has completed its first onshore well in New Zealand, the Ranui-1 wildcat in East Coast Basin licence PEP 38342, but did not say whether it was successful.

New Zealand operations manager Bruce Morris told today that the NRG Services rig had drilled Ranui-1, which targeted shale plays, as well as conventional petroleum structures, to its target depth of about 1200m "and we achieved our objectives".

He confirmed the rig had now left the wellsite but would not say if the well had been plugged and abandoned or suspended.

Discovery Geo owns 100% of the permit, which is in the south of the basin. The company drilled Ranui-1 as a tight hole releasing little information about the program

Morris has previously said the East Coast Basin, stretching about 600km onshore and offshore along the central-east and southeast coast of the North Island, is attracting more exploration activity, partly because of potential shale plays.

As well as Discovery Geo, Canada's Trans-Orient Petroleum and Melbourne's Lakes Oil are also exploring the region.