Origin Energy Resources NZ Ltd. and a unit of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. have started drilling a joint venture exploration well in the Canterbury basin east of New Zealand’s South Island. The drilling operation will take about 40 days and will reach an expected total depth of 9,100 ft subsea in 3,600 ft of water, according to Origin.
The companies announced their intention to drill the Cretaceous Kawau and Herbert formations on the twin-crest Carrack-Caravel prospect in 2010 (OGJ Online, Feb. 25, 2010).
At the Cretaceous level, the Carrack-Caravel prospect covers more than 390 sq km, compared with 160 sq km at Maui, New Zealand’s largest gas field. Origin previously said the prospect could hold a mean of 750 million bbl of recoverable oil or 2.7 tcf of gas and 500 million bbl of condensate in Herbert formation reservoirs. The company added that, if Kawau sandstone reservoirs also trapped hydrocarbons, the recoverable volumes could more than double.
The Caravel-1 exploration well was initiated by the drillship Noble Bob Douglas on Feb. 10.