TAG Oil Blog

Drilling and optimization work has resumed in Taranaki

Posted by Denise della Santina on Nov 14, 2014 3:14:00 PM
Image 3

There hasn’t been much blog news from the field lately, sometimes geology and science can be quiet, solitary stuff. But we’re pleased to report that as of October 2014 TAG achieved record monthly production of 1,990 BOE (76% oil) per day. 

And now with the Nova-1 drill rig back in Taranaki we’ve resumed the next wave of development, appraisal, step-out drilling, and field optimization work in our Taranaki oil and gas fields.

We’re kicking off this portion of TAG Oil’s Taranaki drilling campaign with the Cheal-E-JV-6 and the Cheal-E7 wells, acreage that we believe is prospective for high productivity wells. The strong production performance of Cheal-E1, Cheal-E4, and Cheal-E5 makes further development of the Cheal-E site particularly compelling.

 When finished, the Nova-1 drill rig will move to our Sidewinder oil and gas field to target the oil potential identified from oil shows encountered in TAG’s six Sidewinder gas wells. This acreage borders the Ngatoro/ Kaimiro field, which has been producing for 31 years, and still has millions of BOE’s of recoverable reserves remaining. 

Cardiff-3 Deep Uphole Completion Update

After further technical analysis of Cardiff-3’s lower K3E zone (which returned gas and condensate but at uneconomic rates), TAG is now in the planning stages to production test the primary uphole zones, the McKee and K1A Formations. These are both producing formations in large fields along trend to the Cardiff prospect.

Near-term anticipated schedule for Taranaki operations

Permit Number

Well Name

TAG Working Interest


PEP 54877

Cheal-E-JV-6 development


Nov 2014

PMP 38156

Cheal-E7 appraisal


Dec 2014

PEP 54877

Recomplete Cheal-E-JV-2


Jan  2015

PMP 38156

Build Cheal E to A pipeline


Feb 2015

PMP 38156

Cardiff-3 uphole test


Mar 2015

PEP 55769



Apr 2015

PEP 55769



May 2015

Topics: Taranaki, Cheal Oil Field, Sidewinder Discovery, Cardiff Deep Gas, drilling

Oil and gas drilling and production brought to life

Posted by Denise della Santina on Apr 13, 2014 6:34:00 AM

We realize that we post a lot of pictures of our oil and gas permit sites here on the blog, and write press releases about our drilling process, the status of different exploration sites, production numbers, and estimated potential. Further, we talk a fair bit about how we use the safest, most environmentally conscious techniques, many of which we’re the first to bring to New Zealand.

But talking about it isn’t the same as showing it. 

So talented New Zealand video firm buildmedia recently put together a few videos that bring TAG Oil’s work to life. This first one is particularly exciting, as it shows TAG’s process from scoping to siting to drilling to production, all within the context of the actual landscape…above ground and below!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll release the other two videos, which you’ll also find posted to our website. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy and learn simultaneously. As buildmedia’s tagline says, “seeing is believing.”

How We Work

Topics: exploration well, Taranaki, New Zealand, oil and gas production, drilling

Report confirms Ng-1 oil generated from Whangai unconventional rocks

Posted by Denise della Santina on Feb 19, 2014 5:08:00 PM

We've been not so patiently awaiting the results of the independently conducted Reservoir Characterization Study (RCS) on TAG Oil's East Coast Basin, unconventional Ngapaeruru-1 well, and it has finally arrived. 

oil-rich Whangai shaleThis RCS study provides the first true unconventional data set ever acquired in the East Coast Basin, and the quality of this state-of-the-art data set provides the first specialized interpretation necessary to unlock the major oil and gas potential of TAG's East Coast Basin unconventional play.

As our team had hoped, the study confirms that oil is being generated in the Whangai source rocks, as well as a number of critical positives showing the Whangai to be a viable unconventional oil target. Not that it's a surprise to us, but independent confirmation is always good. (This is a studio shot of our oil-rich Whangai shale, above.)

A few highlights include:

- Analysis places the Whangai source rocks in the oil/condensate window, correlating well with the 50-degree API oil seeps in the basin

- The hydrocarbon-filled porosity exceeds the minimum standard thresholds for unconventional reservoirs

- Permeabilities exceed standard unconventional reservoir thresholds

- The Whangai Formation has very low clay content, indicating fracture stimulation can be highly effective

In order to prove the viability of moveable hydrocarbons from within these source rocks and the economic viability of this unconventional play, TAG can now move on scheduling perforation and production testing of Ngapaeruru-1.

For more detailed information, see our recent Q3 press release. And stay tuned for what happens next!

Topics: exploration well, East Coast Basin, unconventional oil, drilling

Cheal-E individual well testing underway

Posted by Denise della Santina on Nov 18, 2013 9:41:00 AM

Cheal-E continues to provide good news, with three wells cased as potential oil wells – one of which is being flow tested – and Cheal-E 4 now drilling ahead.

Image 4To ensure more reliable production forecasting on future wells, we’re following a protocol of initially testing each well individually: with each flowing for approximately 15 days, and then shut in temporarily to conduct pressure and temperature analysis. During this shut-in period, the next well will be placed on a 15-day production test until all new wells at the site have been individually tested and build-up analysis completed.

During its initial 5-day flush period Cheal-E1 was testing at 600 BOEs a day, about 90% of that oil, flowing naturally without the aid of artificial lift. We know that will settle down to a more typical Mt. Messenger well average over the course of the next year, but considering the fact that Cheal E represents a substantial extension of our known oil saturation area at Cheal, we’re fully pleased with the results, and happy to be getting the proceeds from the sale of all that oil.

Topics: Mt. Messenger, Taranaki, Cheal Oil Field, drilling

Tracking TAG Oil’s production, development and infrastructure

Posted by Denise della Santina on Mar 8, 2012 7:52:00 AM

We put together a simple table to bring you up to speed on TAG’s Taranaki Basin oil and gas producing and drilling activity. The table includes producing oil and gas wells, wells in development (some awaiting workover operations as well as improvements in production infrastructure, to bring additional production that’s currently sitting behind pipe, on-stream), and our next condensate targets to be drilled. Status will change quickly, but here’s a snapshot of how TAG Oil's drilling and workover program stands now.

Taranaki Shallow Drilling and Workover Program

Cheal A


Behind pipe awaiting infrastructure expansion



Waterflood workover






Waterflood workover



Behind pipe awaiting workover



Behind pipe awaiting infrastructure expansion,



Drilled, awaiting test



Drilled, awaiting test



To be drilled



To be drilled

Cheal B





Behind pipe awaiting workover to initiate Urenui Production



Behind pipe awaiting workover to initiate Urenui Production









Flowing 800 to 1300 bbls/day






Flowing 800 to 1075 bbls/day

Cheal C


Producing; oil being trucked to the Cheal Production Station



Excellent flow test results, behind pipe awaiting workover



To be drilled



To be drilled


SW1 - SW4


Producing 2 to 3 million cubic feet of gas per day (350–500 boe/day), and 30 to 50 barrels of light oil / day. Permanent tie-in completed. Anticipate 8 to 10 million cubic feet of gas per day once compression installed.



To be drilled



To be drilled

Topics: Cheal Production Facility, exploration well, Mt. Messenger, Urenui, Taranaki, Cheal-C site, Sidewinder Production Facility, Cheal Oil Field, Sidewinder Discovery, drilling

Mt. Messenger’s first horizontal oil well gets exciting results.

Posted by Kris Clark on Jan 5, 2011 11:21:00 PM

We’ve tested a conservative range of low draw-down configurations at Cheal BH-1, with production rates from 400 to 500 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day. Predominantly oil with no water, just how we like it.

We’ll keep testing the full production capabilities of Cheal-BH-1 with the goal of optimizing daily flow rates and maximizing long-term reserve recovery, but this alone is great news.

Cheal-BH-1 Cheal B3

Topics: Mt. Messenger, Announcements, PMP 38156-D, Cheal Oil Field, drilling

Strong results at Sidewinder-1 flow test.

Posted by Kris Clark on Nov 1, 2010 11:09:00 PM
A thing of beauty!
It’s a thing of beauty!

Done with our 10-day sustained Sidewinder-1 production test and it’s all good. We drilled to a depth of 1601m and encountered 14 meters of net (22m gross) oil and gas bearing sandstones.

We achieved stabilized flow rates of 8.5 million cubic feet of gas plus 44 barrels of oil per day for a total of 1461 barrels of oil equivalent (“BOE”) per day, with a flowing tubing pressure of 940 psi. The 4-Point Isochronal test indicated a tubing restricted maximum gas flow rate of 13 million cubic feet per day (2167 BOE’s/day).

This may be a flow rate record from the Mt. Messenger Formation. Better still, we’ve ID’d several other lookalike prospects to drill within the permit, many accessible from the same Sidewinder surface location. Time to commercialize this discovery and initiate oil and gas production.

Topics: Mt. Messenger, Announcements, Sidewinder Discovery, drilling

Sidewinder-1 and Cheal-B3 operations going strong.

Posted by Kris Clark on Sep 21, 2010 10:38:00 PM


Cheal B3
Cheal-B3, now disconnected from all flow lines and ready for Ensign 6 to move over top. Note protective metal cages over B2 and B1, behind B3.
Prepping the drill
Prepping to drill out the main hole at Sidewinder-1

Topics: Mt. Messenger, Cheal Oil Field, Sidewinder Discovery, drilling, PEP 38748

Sidewinder day 8, great photos from Drew in the field.

Posted by Kris Clark on Sep 19, 2010 10:20:00 PM
NRG Rover
NRG Rover, and a rare break in the clouds.
Driller and assistant driller
Driller and assistant driller talking over.
The flare pit
The flare pit…that tree behind it is getting nervous!

Topics: Sidewinder Discovery, drilling

Operations have begun!

Posted by Kris Clark on Sep 13, 2010 11:19:00 PM
Taranaki operations underway
The cranes haul the derrick up.
Art shot of the derrick
Here’s our art shot of the derrick on its side.
Up she goes...
And up she goes.
Jack, Steve and Paul talk logistics
Jack, Steve and Paul take a minute to work on logistics.

Topics: Sidewinder Discovery, drilling