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TAG Oil sponsors Tough Kid 2014!

Tough Kid 2014, sponsored by TAG Oil and hosted by Sport Taranaki, is all set for its third year with a whopping 1,450 sold-out competitors.

These primary schoolers will compete in an obstacle course that includes a water slide, tire scramble and much more, around the back fields of Yarrow Stadium.

The event is designed to teach children how to overcome challenges, and to promote health and physical activity in a fun way.

TAG is proud to partner with Sport Taranaki, a community-focused organization dedicated to the promotion of sport and physical recreation, to make this event happen. And it’s truly a community event: The local police are on board as volunteers, and the fire department will help maintain the giant water slide.

Be safe, have a blast, and to our minds, everyone who competes is a winner.

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NZCT AIMS GAMES International Sporting Championships

The 11th NZCT AIMS Games – possibly New Zealand's biggest sporting event – launched this week in Tauranga.

TAG Oil sponsored the sports bags for the Oakura Primary Football team, who have joined 7,500 other athletes from around New Zealand to participate in the AIMs games.

This year’s athletes come from 228 schools participating in 17 sports, and more than 10,000 attendees are expected to descend upon Tauranga, on the east coast of the North Island.

The boys are playing well and are having a great week, and we wish good luck to all the athletes! 

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TAG Oil Proud to be an “Overall Energy Company of the Year” Finalist

Following a rigorous judging process, TAG Oil was delighted to be a finalist in the prestigious Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards, as one of just four companies in the Overall Energy Company of the Year category. 

Chairman of the Judging Panel Richard Westlake said the caliber of entries was extremely high and the finalist selection process had been a tough one. The finalists were: 

  • Meridian Energy
  • TAG Oil
  • Shell New Zealand
  • Mighty River Power

Although TAG Oil was edged out by global “supermajor” Shell (Shell New Zealand), we got great feedback and support, and are pleased with what we’ve accomplished in New Zealand to date.  Said Judge Westlake, "The judging panel was impressed by the depth and quality of the entries and our task certainly hasn't been easy. Some of the entries this year were the best the panel has seen."

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Representing TAG Oil at the blacktie gala were, left to right: Ryan Brown, Carey Davis, Chris Ferguson, Shane Hamnett and Drew Cadenhead. 


Now in their fifth year, the Excellence Awards provide an opportunity to recognize excellence and achievement across the electricity, oil, gas and petroleum industries.

Whether it’s providing New Zealand homes and businesses with a reliable energy supply or exploring the country’s underdeveloped resources, this sector provides exciting opportunities for innovation and investment.               

The Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards have been formed to recognise and celebrate excellence across the many disciplines that comprise the sector. “                       

                                     --- Hon Simon Bridges, Minister of Energy and Resources

 

Cheal Oil & Gas Field: Good News for Production and Development Drilling

As announced last week, shallow development drilling and production in the Taranaki are averaging about 1,959 barrels of oil equivalent (“boe”) per day, 80% of which is oil. So we're on track with the estimates CEO Garth Johnson and COO Drew Cadenhead gave in TAG Oil's last quarterly call. With continued success via the drill bit, the Company expects to meet its May 2014 forecast of an average daily production rate of 2,000 boe per day and cash flow generated from operations of $40 million for FY 2015.

Almost all of the current production comes from TAG Oil’s lightly explored Cheal and Greater Cheal oil and gas fields. When we include our Sidewinder field, we have another 50 shallow, drill-ready prospects identified, and we expect more to come as work continues over the years ahead.

After a drop in gas production in Q3/Q4 2014, daily production rates for the last three quarters have stabilized, with high-net-back oil steadily growing to 78% of the daily production. Growing oil production generates stronger revenues, as seen in Q4/14 and Q1/15: increased oil production has resulted in netbacks increasing from $49 per BOE in Q1/14 to more than $70 per BOE in Q1/15.

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Cheal South Permit Testing Update

Here are a few pictures of our Cheal South permit (TAG Oil: 50% interest), during initial testing of the Cheal-G1 well that may prove to be economic.

As announced back in May, in a 50-50 joint venture with East West Petroleum, TAG drilled four shallow exploration wells and one exploration sidetrack well within the Cheal South and Southern Cross areas. While the other wells on this site were plugged and abandoned, the Cheal-G1 well is currently undergoing production testing as a new discovery. 

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Site setup for G1 well testing - flare tank (center) lineheater (middle) test separator (right) power fluid (left).

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G1 power fluid pump and temporary tanks.

     

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G1 temporary wellhead hookup.
 

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Flaring off exess G1 gas during testing, the only time it’s necessary anymore.
 

     

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Self-containted well test separator complete with gas, water, and hydrocarbon measurement.

Welcome aboard, Max

As we bid goodbye to Randy Toone, who returns to North America, we’re happy to welcome, effective September 1, 2014, Max Murray to the TAG Oil team as our New Zealand Country Manager.

MaxMurrayMax is a 30-year oil and gas industry veteran with a deep understanding of the New Zealand oil and gas landscape. He’s an excellent person to help TAG continue its evolution from a junior explorer to the busiest integrated explorer and producer of oil and gas in New Zealand.

Over six years with Origin Energy, Max was most recently Manager of Production Upstream E&P and Senior In-Country Manager, accountable for the safe and efficient operation of all producing assets across Australia and New Zealand. Max previously held senior positions with Swift Energy New Zealand, Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Co. Ltd., and Methanex New Zealand.

The Journey to Waitangi Valley-1

What goes into the building of a drill site? When it’s in the undeveloped East Coast Basin, even a small well pad nestled in the hills can take some infrastructure work. As always though, TAG Oil is careful to work within the landscape and keep a small footprint. Here are some photos from the field of our soon-to-be-spud Waitangi
Valley-1 well.
 

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A couple of locals supervise our team. 
 

     

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Prepping the well pad site for the big rig en route.

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We built a small bridge over a seasonal stream…

 

     

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…That flooded from record winter rains. No harm done.

 

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Conductor Pilot Hole Opener assembly, drills 17.5” hole down to a depth of 42m. Later a conductor hole is drilled to 26” size.

 

     

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Welding a “20” conductor casing that will be cemented in the 26”  hole to a depth of 42m.


 

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Taking in the view in the winter sun, enjoying the new fence we built. 

Year-end, and full speed ahead.

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What better way to bookend TAG Oil’s 2014 fiscal year than with great panoramic shots of two exploration drill sites: above is the Taranaki Basin at Southern Cross, and below is our upcoming Waitangi Valley-1 well drilling pad in the East Coast Basin.

It was a good year at TAG, with active step-out drilling and approximately 893,000 BOE of new gross reserves to date. New discovery area production has been consistent and that success has opened up several new, promising, development drilling locations.

On the other side of the island is the Waitangi Valley-1 drill site. This exploration prospect is TAG's second unconventional well, this time targeting the source rocks in a deeper basinal setting than the Ngapaeruru-1 well. It also includes possible conventional discovery potential, as we drill through a number of Miocene-age sands similar to what we produce from in Taranaki.

At Cardiff-3 we are planning an uphole completion once the drilling data has been further analyzed and our team has determined the best way to complete the well.

Meanwhile, sticking to plan and equipment availability, we move on to development drilling within TAG’s 100%-owned, proven Cheal field, the newly discovered Greater Cheal area, and two new step-out wells targeting the oil potential in our lightly explored Sidewinder field acreage, neighbor to the successful Ngatoro field, which has been producing high netback oil for more than 25 years.

Company finances remain strong, and so does our commitment to the community, as we fund a Stratford High School scholarship (hats off to this year’s winner Anna England, who will be studying Geology at Victoria University), sponsoring the Taranaki Rugby Football Union, the New Plymouth Surf Life Saving Club, donating a new kitchen to the Ngaere School, and much more.

There’s much to do and we’re all energized!

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What oil and gas means to New Zealand

TAG Oil’s second new video (2 minutes and 21 seconds) shows the contributions natural resources make in New Zealand. In two parts, the first section focuses on economics: the positive economic benefits of oil and gas in terms of GDP and employment, what TAG Oil contributes, and some of the potential still to be explored. From our perspective, this can be done safely and responsibly, taking great care to respect the land, leave a small footprint, and co-exist in harmony with our neighbors.

The second part of the video shows some of the unexpected places petroleum products show up in our daily lives. Fuel, paint and tires, we know, but solar panels? Canoes? Smartphone components? Toys? And yes, even beauty products. We take these things as much for granted in modern life as we do the fresh New Zealand air that we breathe and the clean water we drink.

Conservation helps every single one of us. But the next time you grab your surfboard and drive to the beach, recognize that we’re all also consumers. Here’s to a good balance!

 

TAG Oil in New Zealand from TAG Oil on Vimeo.

Strategy stays the course, even as new plans take shape

TAG Oil CEO Garth Johnson and COO Drew Cadenhead took to the phone lines last week to discuss recent drilling announcements and the new fiscal year’s operational plans. Typically forthright, forthcoming and realistic, they outlined the Company’s plans and answered participant questions.

TAG’s vision remains in focus, to:

  • Grow baseline reserves, production, and cash flow in Taranaki
  • Build a steady stream of long-term predictable cash flow from production
  • Continue to pursue high-impact Taranaki exploration in deep Kapuni and the offshore Kaheru
  • Unlock the vast potential of unconventional East Coast basin assets
  • Focus on maintaining balance sheet strength.

Said CEO Johnson: “Our approach to our business plan has always been to start off with an understanding of what we can afford to do. We high-grade our prospects that we have in inventory. We analyze our commitments to maintain permits in good standing. And we agree what the acceptable risks are versus the potential returns with each drill prospect, and then we execute our plan.

We always consider the amount of value that can be created by a variety of potential programs as part of our process. So we ensure we choose the right program that provides an opportunity for large-scale success without putting the Company at risk financially….

Can we guarantee success? No. But we set our sights high. We work hard. We study our data. We learn from our mistakes. We manage the risks and we stick to our business plan, which gives us the best shot at success.”

Specific details of the CapEx program

TAG has defined a $60 million CapEx program for the fiscal year, fully funded through forecasted cash flow and working capital on-hand. The investments break down as follows:

  • $31 million invested in onshore shallow Taranaki, to:

        -  Drill five low-risk Cheal wells and two higher risk Sidewinder B oil wells

        -  Acquire new seismic

        -  Complete plant, facility and well optimization work

  • $5 million slated for offshore Taranaki in preparation to drill the Kaheru prospect (40% interest)
  • $3 million for an uphole completion at Cardiff-3, once the data has been studied
  • $1 million to drill a well in the frontier Canterbury basin, where oil and gas seeps onshore and discoveries offshore have confirmed the hydrocarbon system is working
  • $20 million to drill and test East Coast unconventional wells:

         - Drill the new Waitangi Valley-1 well

         - Drill the new Boar Hill-1 well

         - Test the Ngapaeruru 1 well at the same time

On recent challenges

  • Sidewinder Miocene gas BOEs declined rapidly early on, but are now steady at 150 BOEs a day.
  • While Cardiff’s deepest K3E zone wasn’t immediately successful, the data confirms the zone is filled with hydrocarbons: gas, oil and condensate. We just have to figure out how best to unlock it.
  • Meanwhile, the upper two, previously proven zones, are our next target, as soon as we have a rig free.
  • The only economical rig in New Zealand is the Nova 1 rig, which is booked for two Cheal-B wells starting next week, then one East Coast deep well at Waitangi Valley. So we're looking at three to six months before that rig returns to Taranaki.
  • While the actual operational aspects of the completion and testing are quick, the pre-operational setup steps for fracking in New Zealand are long and involved, and also fairly new. These include specific consents both on regional district council consents, water consents, and much more.
  • Because we have to mobilize an entirely different set of equipment over to the east coast to test wells, we made a strategic / economic decision to delay further testing of the Ngapaeruru well until we had two or three wells to test back to back, if warranted.

Looking ahead

While there are no guarantees in this business, we see every reason to continue setting our4734035818 e888d30cde z sights high. TAG Oil is excellent at reading its data, managing its risks, and sticking to its business plan. And operationally, we’re still looking ahead to another big surprise well like Cheal E1 or B5, cracking Cardiff, branching out into Kaheru offshore, and establishing a new oil and gas zone in the East Coast Basin, or maybe even the Canterbury Basin. We’re counting on our quality team, the data, excellent acreage, and sound fundamentals, but only time will tell for sure.

Read or listen to the full transcript of the FY15 Operations call here.
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