OMV New Zealand, on behalf of its Maari JV partners has announced that the jack-up drilling rig Ensco-107 has been unloaded from the heavy lift vessel Talisman in Admiralty Bay and is now on its way to the Maari field in the Taranaki Basin.
A blessing of the rig was performed by Ngati Koata and Ngati Ruanui in Admiralty Bay prior to its floating off and journey to Maari. The tow to the Maari field will take around 18 hours before the rig begins the final approach to the set up position for moving alongside the Maari Wellhead Platform.
“The focus of the Maari Growth project is to access untapped oil accumulations in the permit and to better drain the existing reservoirs,” explained Peter Zeilinger, Managing Director of OMV New Zealand.
“This should help stabilise the natural production decline we are seeing at the field and allow us to continue production at Maari for at least another 10 years.”
The drilling program of five wells is expected to run well into 2015 and will keep a workforce of more than 250 personnel occupied on and offshore to safely deliver the project.
The Ensco-107 is returning to familiar waters at the Maari field. It drilled the field’s original production and water injection wells as well as the Manaia-1 well which, at eight kilometres long still holds the record for the longest well drilled in New Zealand.
“The Maari Growth project is part of a joint venture investment programme in excess of NZ$400 million. Its goal is to improve the recovery from the Maari and Manaia reservoirs, and also find and appraise near field opportunities to a development stage.
“While the Maari Growth programme is separate from our exploration and appraisal programme with the Kan Tan IV, together they represent a considerable commitment to development in the Taranaki Basin in particular and in New Zealand in general.”
The rig is expected to start drilling in April.