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TAG's 18-well Cheal programme gets green light

Tuesday 29th November 2011

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Canadian oil and gas producer TAG Oil says it hopes to be drilling in the Cheal prospect, onshore Taranaki, by mid-December, assuming no appeals against resource consents granted for an 18-well exploration programme.

The company said in a statement from its headquarters in Vancouver that it hoped “commonsense will prevail” and allow 40 drilling staff to return to work after a hearing on its consents was called by an affected landowner.

Any appeal must be lodged within 15 days, and TAG plans to resume drilling on or about Dec. 16.

“We are pleased to have received the commissioner’s decision consenting to TAG’s drilling programme,” said TAG chief executive Garth Johnson. “Consent was granted after an independent review of all pertinent information, and therefore I trust that common sense will prevail and an appeal will not be filed. We look forward to drilling the Cheal-B6 well in the next few weeks and getting more than 40 concerned drilling employees back to work.”

He confirmed TAG was also underwriting the arrival in New Zealand of a new VR500 automated rack and pinion, trop drive drill rig, which would be safer, more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly than rigs currently in use in this country.

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