The license covers an area of 33,500 km2 in deep water, south of New Zealand’s South Island.
A large 4,820 km2 3D seismic survey was completed late-March by the seismic survey vessel Polarcus Alima. OMV was the operator during the seismic acquisition phase.
The successful acquisition was carried out safely due to predominantly good weather and excellent execution, more high quality data was collected than initially planned and all within budget.
Chairman of Shell Companies in New Zealand, Rob Jager, said the focus at this stage will be on the maturation of the prospectivity in the license, and ensuring safe and responsible operations. Although there are good indications in the area that natural gas could be present, a final decision on drilling an exploration well will be taken at a later stage.
Shell joined the Great South Basin joint venture in August 2011 taking a 50% share. Existing partners OMV and PTTEP New Zealand Ltd retained 18% each with Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd retaining 14%. OMV remained as operator until the end of the seismic acquisition programme.
“Safety is Shell’s first priority. We have a Goal Zero operating philosophy which demands no harm to people and protect the environment. Another top priority is to get to know local people and communities better so that we have a strong understanding of their views and a positive foundation for continuing engagement over the coming years,” said Jager.
The Great South Basin venture reflects Shell’s continuing commitment to exploration and production in New Zealand.
“Shell has been investing in New Zealand for more than 100 years and safely operating offshore for more than 30 years in the challenging conditions off the coast of Taranaki. This is an exciting opportunity to bring our local and global experience to another promising region,” Jager said.
Shell’s operatorship in the Great South Basin joint venture builds on its continuing investment in Taranaki, where it is a joint venture partner in the Maui, Kapuni and Pohokura gas fields.
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Tui MacDonald, Communications Advisor – (04) 471 4567, (027) 513 0970
About the Great South Basin permits
GSB exploration permits 50119, 50120 and 50121, covering an area of almost 50,000 km2, were awarded to a joint venture consisting of OMV New Zealand (36%), PTTEP (36%) and Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd (28%) on 10 July 2007 with OMV as operator. Since then, the joint venture has spent over NZ$50 million on exploring the area, including the acquisition and analysis of 2D seismic data in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
Shell joined the Great South Basin joint venture in August 2011 taking a 50% share. Existing partners OMV and PTTEP New Zealand Ltd retained 18% each with Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd retaining 14%.
The retained permits (PEP 50119 and PEP 50120) cover 32,213 km2. The permit work conditions required the joint venture to acquire a minimum of 2,250 km2 of 3D seismic data. From December 2011 – March 2012 4820 km2 was acquired. In the meantime the two remaining permits were merged and a small area to the west added, resulting in a total area for the PEP 50119 permit of 33,500 km2.
Shell in New Zealand
Shell is a pioneer in New Zealand’s oil and gas sector. Since its first investment on the West Coast of the South Island in 1911, the company has helped to lay the foundations for today’s oil and gas industry. Shell is a joint venture owner and joint operator of the Maui (83%) and Kapuni (50%) fields, and joint venture owner and operator of the Pohokura (48%) field, in Taranaki. These assets provide around 70% of the country’s natural gas supply and employ some 300 staff.
For more information about Shell visit www.shell.co.nz