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New Zealand East Coast basin shale pursuit resumes

Exploratory drilling has resumed in New Zealand’s nonproducing East Coast basin after a long hiatus.

New Zealand Energy Corp., Vancouver, BC, will deepen the Ranui-1 well drilled to a total depth of 1,134 m by a previous operator on the 100% owned Ranui permit.

Initial drilling encountered 224 m of prospective Whangai shale, but the well did not  reach the base of the shale. Upon reentry, NZEC will core as many as four Whangai shale intervals and drill through the base of Whangai into conventional reservoir sands to a planned 1,500 m. The company will run a full suite of open hole logs.

The company is analyzing core from two other test holes drilled in late 2011 on its 100% owned Castlepoint permit. The Orui core hole, TD 125 m, and Te Mai core hole, TD 195 m, cored and tested the Waipawa and Whangai shales. The two shales source more than 300 oil and gas seeps in the basin.

A review of the geochemical and physical properties of the two shale packages will help focus NZEC’s exploration strategy for the shales. The company’s technical team will reprocess existing seismic and plans to shoot 50 line-km of 2D seismic in 2012.

NZEC has two granted permits and one pending permit in the basin that combined cover more than 1.8 million acres.

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