Energy company Tamarind Resources has been granted consent for development drilling at the Tui field located offshore New Zealand. The company is now waiting for the arrival of a COSL Drilling-owned rig.
The marine consent and marine discharge consent has been granted by the Environmental Protection Authority of New Zealand for development drilling activities at the Tui field, offshore Taranaki.
Commenting on the government’s decision on Wednesday, Tamarind said it expects to develop a further 6 – 8 million barrels of oil as a result of this campaign, extending the life of the Tui field into the mid 2020s.
Back in July 2018 Tamarind entered into an agreement with COSL Drilling for drilling operations on the Tui field with the semi-submersible rig HYSY 982.
The contract was for three firm wells with options to extend the terms for up to one optional side-track development well and up to one optional exploration well, all to be drilled within the Tui permit.
Drilling in June
Tamarind said on Wednesday that the drilling project is currently on target to start in June with an expected duration of about 110 days. At this stage, three sidetrack wells are planned, but Tamarind continues to look at the potential to drill a fourth sidetrack well, depending on the results from the initial three wells.
The rig, the COSL Prospector, will be used to drill the sidetrack wells. This rig is different from that originally proposed by COSL (the HYSY 982) and was formally changed in early 2019 to accommodate a request from the rig contractor. The Prospector is a sister rig to the HYSY 982 and this change represents no material difference to Tamarind’s proposed activities, Tamarind explained.
According to Tamarind, the rig is currently in transit from Norway to New Zealand and, following a voyage of approximately 120–130 days, will reach the well site location at Tui in late May or early June – depending on weather conditions during the voyage. The rig is self-propelled and will transit to NZ under its own power.
Tamarind noted that all necessary biosecurity cleaning and clearances were completed prior to the rig’s departure. NZ-based crew will be joining the rig as it transits from Norway to NZ, with the first group of NZ crew due to join the rig in Las Palmas, Canary Islands.