April 15, 2020

OMV the Austrian integrated oil and gas company reported positive result for oil and gas off the coast of Taranaki in New Zealand.
OMV started drilling at the Toutouwai-1 site, about 50 kilometres off the Taranaki coast and in 130m of water, in March and successfully reached the reservoir in early April. While its testing phase has been curtailed due to coronavirus, oil and gas company OMV says results from its final exploration well in the Taranaki Basin are positive.
OMV’s senior vice president, Australasia Gabriel Selischi said results showed that several hydrocarbon charged layers had been encountered during drilling, which went as deep as 4317m and was carried out using the COSL Prospector semi-submersible drilling rig. He said the discovery has the potential to be a significant result for the company, and New Zealand.
However, due to Covid-19 and the current level four lockdown, further testing at the site has been curtailed for now. OMV’s drilling campaign had come to an end and no further wells would be drilled. Toutouwai-1 is now being safely plugged and abandoned and the COSL Prospector is expected to depart Taranaki waters in mid-late April.
OMV and its joint venture partners, Mitsui E&P Australia and SapuraOMV, will now carry out additional work required to determine commercial viability of the discovery.
OMV New Zealand operates three mining permits in Taranaki. In addition, OMV New Zealand operates five offshore exploration permits, which makes OMV the largest operator in New Zealand.
The Taranaki Basin covers approximately 100,000 km2 both onshore and offshore New Zealand’s North Island. The first well was drilled in 1865 with production since the early 1900s, and there have been many significant oil and gas discoveries since 1950, both onshore and offshore. According to New Zealand Energy Corporation, the basin currently produces approximately 460 mmcf/day of liquids-rich natural gas and 55,000 bbl/day of light, high-quality oil.
(Source: OMV/NZHerald/TVNZ – Image: COSL Prospector semi-submersible)