Sin­ga­pore eyes up En­sco drilling rig

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - OIL & GAS - By Neil Ritchie­eren­quiry #141218

Oil and gas ac­tiv­ity con­tin­ues around New Zealand – from pre­lim­i­nary seis­mic sur­veys to ex­plo­ration and de­vel­op­ment drilling. Most ac­tiv­ity still cen­tres on Taranaki, ei­ther on­shore or off­shore, but some is sched­uled near the top and bot­tom of the coun­try.

The Gov­ern­ment’s New Zealand Pe­tro­leum & Min­er­als unit has granted Norway’s TGS-Nopec Geo­phys­i­cal company an eight-month pe­tro­leum prospect­ing per­mit (PPP 56377) to con­duct at least one seis­mic survey over 136,512 square kilo­me­tres of the mas­sive off­shore fron­tier Reinga Basin, north­west of the North Is­land.

And Hous­ton-head­quar­tered Sch­lum­berger Seaco is seek­ing a sim­i­lar prospect­ing per­mit but at the other end of New Zealand. It has ap­plied for PPP 57031 cov­er­ing 446,129 square kilo­me­tres of the Great South Basin.

Late last year then new coun­try en­trant Nor­we­gian gi­ant Sta­toil was granted a 9,818 square kilo­me­tre ex­plo­ration li­cence PEP 55781 over just a small part of the Reinga Basin. The fact that TGS-Nopec has ap­plied for a much larger prospect­ing per­mit in­di­cates that it is prob­a­bly plan­ning a “mul­ti­client spec survey” where it will hold pro­pri­etary rights to all in­for­ma­tion it gath­ers – for per­haps 15 years or so – and will be able to sell that data to maybe sev­eral ex­plor­ers.

It is known Sta­toil has al­ready con­ducted sea f loor sur­veys as part of its pre­lim­i­nary com­mit­ments in its li­cence, as well its planned ac­qui­si­tion this sum­mer of at least 3,500m of 2D seis­mic data, util­is­ing a TGS-Nopec ves­sel.

Again, it is likely to be a sim­i­lar story when Sch­lum­berger is granted its GSB prospect­ing li­cence – shoot­ing var­i­ous seis­mic sur­veys, in­clud­ing one for the joint ven­ture headed by Shell Ex­plo­ration NZ and another for the Wood­side PetroleumNew Zealand Oil & Gas con­sor­tium.

Mean­while, off Taranaki, the jack-up En­sco Rig 107 con­tin­ues its year-long Maari-Manaia de­vel­op­ment cam­paign that in­cludes the fu­ture drilling of another ex­tended reach Manaia well for field op­er­a­tor Aus­trian company OMV and its part­ners Todd En­ergy and Aus­tralian ju­niors Hori­zon Oil and Cue En­ergy Re­sources.

Fur­ther north the semisub­mersible rig Kan Tan IV is still drilling the Ruru Prospect in the south­east­ern cor­ner of the Maui gas field for part­ners Shell Ex­plo­ration NZ, Todd En­ergy and Aus­trian gi­ant OMV.

The Ruru prospect was be­lieved to be one of the best pock­ets of by­passed gas so far iden­ti­fied within the Maui min­ing li­cence, with nat­u­ral gas tar­geted in the Eoce­neaged Ka­puni For­ma­tion, prin­ci­pally the C and D sands, and per­haps the deeper F sands that f lowed about 35 mil­lion bar­rels of crude oil from almost 10 years from the mid-1990s.

And the mod­u­lar off­shore drilling unit (MODU) Archer Emer­ald has been de­mo­bilised and taken off the Maui A plat­form dur­ing late Oc­to­ber after a largely suc­cess­ful cam­paign in­volv­ing four side­track wells tar­get­ing pre­vi­ously un­tapped pock­ets of gas. All th­ese wells were drilled util­is­ing lighter alu­minium pip­ing, as op­posed to the more tra­di­tional steel drill pipe.

There are also un­con­firmed ru­mours that Sin­ga­pore’s Loyz En­ergy is plan­ning to use the En­sco rig to drill a well in the off­shore Awakino-Mokau area though there still are a lot of uncer­tain­ties to be worked through dur­ing the next 12 months.

And UK-listed ju­nior Kea Pe­tro­leum had been due to com­mit to drill an on­shore well in the Awaki­noWaikawau area north of New Ply­mouth, prob­a­bly to test an on­shore-off­shore prospect, but has gained gov­ern­ment ap­proval to de­fer that for 12 months.

Mean­while, land rig owner-op­er­a­tor MB Cen­tury is mov­ing Todd’s “Big Ben” rig from the Man­ga­hewa E well­site back to the Man­ga­hewa D well­site as part of Todd’s $ 800 mil­lion Man­ga­hewa Ex­pan­sion Project in­volv­ing the drilling and hor­i­zon­tal hy­draulic frac­tur­ing of up to 27 de­vel­op­ment wells.

And it is be­lieved Todd is also pro­gress­ing its so-called “MEP2 com­pres­sion” project at the McKee-Man­ga­hewa pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties, with earth­works sched­uled to start in Novem­ber.

New Zealand En­ergy Corp is await­ing the ar­rival from Hous­ton of a jet pump unit to help it com­plete its workover of Wai­hapa-2 well util­is­ing the small Ri­val En­ergy workover rig. NZEC’s share of oil pro­duc­tion from the Cop­per Moki, Waitapu and Ngaere fields, plus the Toko-2 well, con­tin­ues to creep up from an av­er­age of 205 bar­rels per day (bpd) dur­ing Septem­ber to 214 bpd in Oc­to­ber.

Story cour­tesy of www.en­er­gys­

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