New Zealand Energy gauges Taranaki basin discovery

New Zealand Energy Corp. will watch oil production at its Waitapu-2 discovery well in New Zealand’s Taranaki basin before deciding whether to continue trucking oil or laying a 1.3-km pipeline.

Waitapu-2, the company’s fifth oil discovery in the basin, has recovered 1,880 bbl of oil from the Miocene Mount Messenger formation and is flowing 325 b/d of 40° gravity oil and 800 Mcfd of gas on a 24/64-in. choke. It went to 2,085 m measured depth and encountered 6.2 m of net pay.

NZE is trucking the sweet crude 45 km north to the Shell-operated Omata tank farm, where it is sold at Brent pricing.

The company said Waitapu-2 is flowing from natural reservoir pressure, as its Copper Moki wells did, further confirming the geological model, whereas most Mount Messenger wells require artificial lift almost immediately.

NZE continues to refine the geological model based on drilling success to date and interpretation of the recently completed 3D seismic survey. The company said it has many prospects to drill that it believes are similar to the Copper Moki and Waitapu discoveries.

The company’s Waitapu-1 well had permeability and porosity that did not yield economic production. It was completed across a 30-m gross interval in the Mount Messenger.

NZEC has reached target depth of 2,380 m MD and is preparing to run casing at Arakamu-2, third well in its current eight-well program. It cut 8.1 m of net pay in two potentially productive Mount Messenger zones. Following completion of Arakamu-2, NZE will spud Arakamu-1A, which targets the deeper Moki formation.

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