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Tui oilfield operator AWE secures rig for 4 wells

Tui oilfield operator AWE secures rig to drill four wells

Feb. 9 – Australian Worldwide Exploration Ltd., operator of the Tui oilfield, will drill at least four new offshore wells in the third quarter as it widens its search of the Taranaki basin.

AWE has contracted the services of a semi-submersible rig, Kan Tan-IV, operated by drilling company Maersk, to carry out the work, which includes at least two oil prospects close to the producing Tui field, which is 12.5% owned by New Zealand Oil & Gas. AWE owns 42.5%. It will also drill the large Hoki oil prospect to the northwest of Tui.

“This program is of major importance to AWE as well as New Zealand,” said managing director Bruce Wood. AWE is “naturally keen to repeat the success of Tui.”

NZOG has been adding exploration territory since building a war chest with the proceeds of revenue from Tui and the enthusiastic take-up of rights last year. In January the company was awarded the permit over a 3,000 square kilometre area to the southwest of Kupe, the field due to come on stream this year.

NZOG has already contracted the seismic vessel Pacific Titan to shoot 500 km of 2D seismic data. The company has also acquired acreage off the south Canterbury coast and lifted its stake in fellow Tui investor Pan Pacific Petroleum to about 15%.

Shares of NZOG rose 3% to a three-month high of NZ$1.38 and have climbed about 16% in the past 12 months. Pan Pacific Petroleum fell 1.5% to 33.5 Australian cents on the ASX while AWE fell 0.8% to A$2.46.

Production from Tui began in July 2007 and proven and provable reserves were increased to 50.1 million barrels in June last year.


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