While Greenpeace and its anti-oil friends are pushing the social media barrow right now against new drilling, the major oil company OMV New Zealand is reportedly getting set to drill two exploration wells off Taranaki in the 2019-20 summer.
The Sharechat website said OMV is awaiting a marine consent from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for the two wells, and said it may drill an additional two wells that summer, subject to funding and the contracting of a suitable rig.
“The public can be assured that any drilling we carry out will be done in accordance with industry best practice,” Gabriel Selischi, OMV’s vice-president for Australasia, reportedly told the news agency BusinessDesk.
“We stand by our safety and environmental record. OMV NZ is an established operator with a long and safe track record of exploration off the Taranaki coast.”
OMV is operator for the Maari-Manaia oil field and has stakes in the Maui and Pohokura gas fields as well as interests in seven exploration permits off the Taranaki coast, off the Wairarapa coast and in the Great South Basin.
BusinessDesk said it is the second firm to announce offshore drilling plans for next year. Tamarind Resources has booked the modern Hai Yang Shi You 982 semi-submersible rig for a development drilling programme at its Tui oil field from early next year.
The consent being from the EPA is for up to nine exploration wells and three appraisal wells across six permits – including Maari – any time out to 2025.
The earliest commitment OMV faces is at its Matuku permit – PEP 51906 - where it has indicated it plans a well between the Maari field and the western part of the Maui field to the north. Terms of the permit, in which Malaysia’s Sapura Energy is also a partner, require a well be drilled next year, with a second contingent well due in 2021.
A well is also due in OMV’s Te Whatu permit, south-west of Maari, by 2020. The firm also needs to drill a well in one of its more northerly permits – Cloudy Bay – that year.
Sources: sharechat.co.nz; businessdesk.co.nz