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Northland Basin Remains Attractive - Geologist

JULY 1999


Conoco’s announcement that no commercial shows of hydrocarbons have been found at its exploration well should not detract from offshore Northland’s potential as a commercially producing area, the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited (GNS) said today.

During the weekend United States oil exploration company Conoco said it had abandoned its deepwater well 114km northwest of Auckland as it had failed to find commercial hydrocarbons.

However, petroleum geologist Rick Herzer, of GNS, said the Northland Basin was still only lightly explored by international standards and it remained an attractive area for exploration.

“ The greater part of the Northland Basin remains untested by drilling, and contains the right conditions for hydrocarbon generation,’’ Dr Herzer said.

“ From our reconnaissance surveys the basin appears to contain a number of geological structures, both inside and outside the Conoco licence area, that could be favourable petroleum reservoirs.

“ We believe that with more exploratory drilling, offshore Northland could match Taranaki for hydrocarbon production.”

Dr Herzer said the Wakanui-1 well will have provided Conoco with valuable geological information that will be useful in subsequent exploration wells.

Dr Herzer is joint author of a major scientific study on the Northland Basin, published by GNS in 1994.


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