Kakapo prospect offshore New Zealand holds oil potential

Offshore staff

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- NZOG is looking for a rig to drill the Kakapo prospect offshore New Zealand’s South Taranaki coast within the next six months.

The company was awarded the surrounding permit 51311 in 2009, with a deadline of this week for deciding whether to drill or leave.

Kakapo is in 95 m (311 ft) of water, 25 km (15.5 mi) west of the producing Kupe gas/condensate field. The exploratory well will be drilled to confirm the structure’s seismic indications.

The prospect is a stacked series of inter-bedded Miocene coastal sands and shale from a depth of about 1,600 m (5,249 ft), laterally truncated and considered to be sealed by deep, shale-filled canyons.

NZOG estimates probable prospective recoverable resources at 41 MMbbl of oil for the main target sand alone. However, taking into account additional levels above and below, and the possibility that the trap is filled to its maximum spill point, there is could be potential for up to several hundred million barrels of oil, the company says.

Raisama Energy will earn a 10% stake in the permit by paying 20% of the first well costs, with the carry capped at $3 million, and NZOG hopes to attract further farm-in partners ahead of drilling. The well is expected to cost $25-30 million.

NZOG chief executive Andrew Knight said his company believed Kakapo could be several times the size of the producing offshore Tui and Maari fields.



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