On a recent trip to Taranaki New Zealand, TAG Oil CEO Garth Johnson and Controller Dan Brown snapped some photos for the blog. They were down under for meetings with the technical team and local community leaders, and of course, to experience the new developments at TAG's Cheal and Sidewinder oil and gas discovery areas first-hand.
TAG Oil Blog
TAG Oil is proud to support the community by funding “Hot Fire Training” for the Stratford and Eltham Volunteer Fire Brigades. The training helps the volunteer brigade practice their firefighting techniques under real fire conditions at a training facility in Stratford.
They’re a tough and dedicated group, and it’s our pleasure to help them grow more accomplished in this important job. These photos from a recent training really say it all.
A recent article in The Taranaki News entitled “Drilling opposition puts 42 out of work” reported that “Tag Oil Ltd stopped production while it waits for resource consent for 18 new wells at its Cheal sites near Stratford.” This report is inaccurate.
In fact, production has not stopped at Cheal, nor have any ongoing operations – such those related to our well testing program for our recently completed discovery wells (Cheal-C1, Cheal-C2, Cheal-A8 and Cheal B5) – been affected in any way.
In addition, TAG continues to complete work-over’s on existing wells at Cheal (Cheal-A1, Cheal-B1 and Cheal-B2) as well as acquiring seismic on our Sidewinder permit and in the East Coast Basin.
The issue reported on was a delay to the final well we were planning on drilling this year (the Cheal B6 well, the 4th in our current drilling program) due to the consenting issues that were brought forward. That said, we hope to be drilling again very soon - possibly prior to Christmas. We’re certainly hopeful we can we can get the Ensign rig workers back to work at Cheal as soon as possible.
TAG continues to employ a significant number of New Zealanders, all of whom are critical to our continued success. Our commitment to the communities where we live and work is just one of the reasons we conduct all our operations to the highest possible standards. We recognize how important it is to the people of New Zealand (which includes those who work with us, their families and ours!) that we conduct our business responsibly... and we will continue to do so.
To accomodate the new wells TAG Oil has drilled in the last 9 months, we’re expanding the capabilities of the artificial lift systems at the Cheal Production Facility. We’re producing about 1000 barrels of oil equivalent a day now, with approximately 350 barrels of oil equivalent per day that is shutin, awaiting completion of the expansion. That work should be done by September.
Great view of Mt. Taranaki from Cheal-C.
Okay so Time Magazine’s article isn’t about TAG Oil, but it could be. Because they’re talking about the vast amounts of oil and gas that’s being found in tight oil plays.
They’re finding major amounts of oil and so much natural gas in the United States, that it could potentially eliminate America’s reliance to foreign oil (for more info see http://www.chk.com/Independence/energy-independence.html).
Unconventional tight oil is exactly what TAG is targeting a half a world away, in the East Coast Basin in New Zealand. There are actually two formations in the East Coast Basin and they are the “source rocks” generating the high-quality oil (50 degree API) found in drilling and in the many oil seeps throughout the Basin.
The East Coast Basin’s Waipawa and Whangai formations are rich in total organic carbon content and have oil and gas maturity levels that compare to North America’s highly successful Bakken.
Click here for an independent assessment of the major undiscovered resource potential in TAG’s East Coast Basin unconventional venture.
Piling and foundation work is well underway on the Sidewinder Production Facility. The separators, exchanger and coalescer are being built and tested in a shop in town, then we ship everything out to the site to weld it together. At the same time we’re building the 8” pipeline from the actual Sidewinder site about 3.3km’s away to tie into a major gas pipeline. When we attach the pipeline to the plant, we’ll be ready to produce.
|We have a little more than 1700 m of our pipeline in the ground, and are on our way up the easy portion of the track to the Vector tie-in point.
|The facility piling goes in, and in town, we run the gas coalescer hydrotest.|
Another good looking test on Sidewinder 2. The 4-point Isochronal flow test achieved stabilized flow rates of 8.8 million cubic feet per day (~1467 BOE per day) with less than a 25% drawdown.
We encountered oil shows when we perforated the shallow Urenui Formation, but the interpreted pay zones are mainly from the Miocene-aged Mt. Messenger Formation. Drilled to 1,597 meters, we intersected the main Sidewinder discovery zone and four separate oil-and-gas charged zones of interest totaling 47 meters of net pay.
Though all four Sidewinder well flow tests have been excellent, this is the best so far.
Topics: Sidewinder Discovery
We drilled Sidewinder-4 exploration well (the Sidewinder oil and gas discovery is in TAG's PEP 38748) to 1,410 meters, targeting a fault-bounded 3-D anomaly in the Mt. Messenger Formation. We drilled down-dip of Sidewinder-3 and encountered 19 meters of net oil-and-gas-charged sandstones, with no water column evident.
A 4-Point Isochronal test achieved stabilized flow rates of 6.98 million cubic feet per day (~1163 BOE per day) with a 25% drawdown. Another success for our tech team.
Topics: Sidewinder Discovery
Drilled 3.5 km NW of the existing Mt. Messenger producing wells, our Cheal C1 test proves that Mt. Messenger’s oil saturated sandstone (~1600 m) extends further than was previously known. We encountered over 15 meters of net oil-and-gas bearing sandstones with good porosity and free oil.
Though Mt. Messenger was our primary objective, we deepened it with a wildcat well to a total depth of 2382 meters to test the down-dip edge of a large closure within the deeper Moki Formation (~2200 m). We encountered strong oil and gas shows within a 73-meter thick, high-quality section of porous and permeable sandstone. We’ll drill any future wells directly targeting this Moki Formation structure in an updip position, which could intersect substantially more of the hydrocarbon-charged Moki sandstones.