New Zealand is preparing for an oil and gas boom

Oct 12, 2005 02:00 AM

New Zealand is getting ready for an oil and gasfield boom.
Already the $ 1 bn Pohokura gasfield development project is under way, and the development of three other offshore fields -- Kupe off the south Taranaki coast and Tui and Maari adjacent to the Maui field off south-west Taranaki -- begins in the next three months. Final investment decisions sanctioning the development of all three fields are imminent, with "first oil" expected to flow from them in 2007.

A Maari oilfield shareholder committed to investing in the field's development and other shareholders were expected to follow to give the $ 400 mm project the go-ahead by the end of October.
Also expected is a final investment decision on development of the Tui oil field, expected to cost at least $ 300 mm.

That these decisions are almost certain to be made is underlined by the fact that a big offshore rig has already been contracted to drill the production wells. The semi-submersible rig Ocean Patriot will arrive in Taranaki waters early next year to undertake a number of drilling assignments for various exploration consortiums, and will also drill production wells in the Tui field and potentially Maari.
The rig is also likely to be drilling in the Canterbury Basin, with exploration expected to begin in April.

Source: The Press
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