Maari oil field partners confirm additional reserves

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Oct. 7 -- The OMV-led joint venture at Maari oil field in the Taranaki basin off New Zealand has confirmed additional produceable oil reserves are contained within a separate reservoir, designated M2A, about 50 m above the main Moki formation.

It lies in the main Maari mining licence PMP 38160.

The group has now completed a horizontal well into this reservoir that encountered 660 m of net pay zone. OMV estimates the in-situ oil reserves to be 30-40 million bbl, or about a quarter of the volume of the in-situ reserves figure placed on the Moki formation reservoir.

However an estimate of recoverable reserves in the new zone will not be available until production data from the M2A well has been obtained and a development plan established.

The joint venture wants to produce from the M2A well only intermittently when there is available spare capacity in the Maari production facilities.

At the moment, the field’s five Moki production wells are producing at close to 40,000 b/d of oil, which is 10% more than the 35,000 b/d design capacity of the Raora floating production, storage, and offloading vessel now stationed in the field.

The field, which is New Zealand’s largest oil field, has produced more than 3 million bbl since it came on stream in February.

OMV now plans to return to the Manaia-1 extended reach well, which has targeted and found hydrocarbons within the Mangahewa sandstone in a structure about 10 km southwest of Maari field. This well was suspended in mid-September so the M2A well could be drilled at Maari. The plan is to reenter the well to drill a horizontal section through the reservoir to determine the viability of the find. The Ensco 7 jack up drilling rig is being used for the program.

If Manaia is commercial, the production will be tied back to the Maari facilities.

Manaia-1 is an appraisal of the Mangahewa Sand reservoir found back in 1970 by the Shell-BP-Todd group with the Maui-4 vertical well which tested oil at 575 b/d, but was not commercial at that time. The structure now lies in the greater Maari exploration licence PEP 38413.

OMV is operator of both licences with 69% interest. New Zealand’s Todd Energy has 16%, Sydney’s Horizon Oil has 10%, and Cue Energy Resources, Melbourne, holds 5%.

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