Wednesday 12th January 2011
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Maui field operator Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) is carrying out an electromagnetic survey of the Maui production mining licence off Taranaki to detect hydrocarbon reservoirs beneath the seabed.
The survey was believed to be the first of its type in this country for oil and gas commercial purposes, STOS general manager Rob Jager said.
The technology involved leading-edge remote sensing equipment and was an emerging exploration method.
The ship BOA Galatea, which was purpose-built for such work and operated around the world, would spend about a month on the Maui project, STOS said today.
The 80-metre vessel with a crew of nearly 50 operated around the clock.
The survey is separate to the drilling of the Ruru exploration well next to the Maui field, which STOS announced last week.
Drilling ship Noble Discoverer is expected to start drilling the well in February, about 40km off the south Taranaki coast.
STOS is not commenting on the cost of the well, but the industry standard for an exploration well is between about $30 million and $70 million.
The Maui gas-condensate field has been the mainstay of New Zealand's petroleum production since the late 1970s but is in decline.
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