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Kupe Gas Project – Drilling Commences

Kupe Gas Project – Drilling Commences

Origin Energy advises that today the Ensco 107 rig has commenced batch drilling the three development wells on the Kupe field.

The commencement of the drilling campaign follows the successful installation of the Project’s wellhead platform jacket (the legs of the offshore platform) and topsides, using the rig.

Kupe Gas Project Director Peter Ashford said the installation of both components went very smoothly.

“Despite some unsettled spring weather the operations have gone without a hitch. This is the result of many months of careful planning and execution by the Project team,” Mr Ashford said.

The platform is located at the Kupe Field, 30 kilometres offshore from Hawera in South Taranaki.

Drilling of the wells is expected to take around five months to complete and during the campaign over 100 drilling team members and their support staff will live onboard the rig.

Each of the three production wells will be drilled to a vertical depth of approximately 3400 metres.

The Ensco 107 drilling rig is owned by Ensco Enterprises Limited and was built in Singapore in 2006.

The Kupe Gas Project is expected to be completed by mid-2009 and will provide New Zealand with approximately 254 petajoules of natural gas, 1.1 million tonnes of LPG and 14.7 million barrels of light oil (condensate).

Participants in the Kupe Gas Project are:

Origin Energy Resources (Kupe) Limited* - 50% (Operator)

Wholly owned subsidiaries of Genesis Energy - 31%

New Zealand Oil & Gas Limited (through its subsidiaries National Petroleum Ltd. 12.75%, Petroleum Equities Ltd. 1.25% and Nephrite Enterprises Ltd. 1.00%) - 15%

Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd - 4%

*a wholly owned subsidiary of Origin Energy Limited

ENDS

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