Fletcher farms out share in New Zealand's Tuihu prospect

Fletcher Challenge Energy, a unit of New Zealand-based Fletcher Challenge Group, said Sept. 7 that it will farm out to Australia's Origin Energy Ltd. a 20% share in the license area PEP 38718 containing the Tuihu prospect in the onshore section of New Zealand's Taranaki basin.


Fletcher Challenge Energy, a unit of New Zealand-based Fletcher Challenge Group, said Sept. 7 that it will farm out to Australia's Origin Energy Ltd. a 20% share in the license area PEP 38718 containing the Tuihu prospect in the onshore section of New Zealand's Taranaki basin.

Fletcher Challenge will remain the operator of the prospect and hold the remaining 70% interest. It plans to drill a wildcat there in mid-October.

The agreement gives Origin Energy a 20% participating interest in PEP 38718 and the option to earn a 25% participating interest in the adjacent license, PEP 38730. Fletcher Challenge currently has a 100% interest in PEP 38730.

Greig Gailey, chief executive of Fletcher Challenge, said the farmout is consistent with the company�s strategy of participating in a portfolio of exploration opportunities with risk shared by other companies. �The Tuihu well is an excellent prospect. Given the success of Rimu, this is proving to be a very exciting new play-type.�

Tulsa-based Parker Drilling Co.�s Rig 188 has been contracted for the well and is currently undergoing modifications before being shipped to New Zealand. It is expected to arrive there in early October and will be moved immediately to the Tuihu well site, 9 km northeast of the Tariki gas-condensate field.

The vertical well will be drilled to at least 4,370 m, says Fletcher Challenge. The primary reservoir objective is the productive Tariki sandstone, as in the adjacent Tariki field.

Fletcher Challenge postulates mean potential reserves for the prospect at 30 million boe.

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