Wednesday 12th June 2019
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Tamarind Resources is aiming to begin a round of development drilling at the Tui oil field off the Taranaki coast late next week.
The COSL Prospector rig arrived at the field early this morning, having spent four months in transit from Bergen, Norway.
Tamarind’s New Zealand country manager, Jason Peacock, said the rig’s arrival on-schedule and without incident is quite an achievement.
Some certification is still required, and the firm will spend the next seven to 10 days laying anchors and mobilising equipment and staff before drilling begins, he told BusinessDesk.
The four-year-old Prospector is a semi-submersible rig designed to operate in the harsh environment of the North Sea. It is 104 metres long, 70 metres wide and has accommodation for 130 crew. It can operate in water depths of 1,500 metres and can drill to 7,500 metres.
Tui lies in about 125 metres of water 50 kilometres off the coast and was the country’s biggest liquids producer when it was commissioned in mid-2007. It delivered almost 13.5 million barrels of oil in 2008, but that was down to 693,000 barrels in 2018, according to the latest annual government data available.
Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Tamarind is an expert in late-life assets. It bought out the former venture partners - AWE, New Zealand Oil & Gas and Pan Pacific Petroleum – in 2017. Low oil prices at the time meant the field could have faced decommissioning from the end of 2019.
Tamarind expects to spend about 135 days drilling three side-track wells at Tui. It has previously indicated that a successful campaign should deliver another 6-8 million barrels and extend Tui’s life into the mid-2020s.
Peacock said drilling will start in the more southerly Tui-3H well, and progress to Amokura-2H and then Pateke-4H.
The rig is then expected to be booked by OMV for a round of exploration wells off Taranaki and potentially a well in the Great South Basin.
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