New Zealand gas play revisited

The Westech Energy New Zealand Co. led exploration group has been joined by Perth-based Pancontinental Oil & Gas NL for the redrilling of the Waitaria gas prospect in the onshore East Coast Basin of New Zealand's North Island.


Melbourne�The Westech Energy New Zealand Co. led exploration group has been joined by Perth-based Pancontinental Oil & Gas NL for the redrilling of the Waitaria gas prospect in the onshore East Coast Basin of New Zealand's North Island.

Pancontinental said it will earn a 7.5% interest in the permit by contributing 10% of the expected $1.37 million cost of the Waitaria 2 well that is due to spud in January. Pancontinental would pay only 7.5% test and completion costs.

Waitaria 1 failed to reach the objective mid-Miocene age Tunanui Sandstone when drilled in 1997 because of mechanical problems through a high pressure zone. Despite high mud weights, the well recorded background gas levels up to 1%. Ethane and butane readings were consistently above 100ppm.

Westech said the well, drilled to 1372m, was forced to stop less than 30 m above the target Tunanui sand. Waitaria 2 will be drilled next to the Waitaria 1 to 1829 m.

The prospect has been delineated by 2D seismic and mapped as a four-way dip closure over 6 sq km. Vertical closure is interpreted to be 700 m and potential recoverable reserves of the prospect are estimated at 360 billion cu ft of gas.

Production from Waitaria likely would go to the city of Gisborne.

Interests in the well will be Westech 27.5%, Pancontinental 7.5%, Orion Exploration Ltd. 27.5%, Indo-Pacific Energy (NZ) Ltd. 25%, Sun Resources NL 7.5%, and Everest Energy Inc. 5%.

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