TAG Oil Blog

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

Reporting on the Cardiff-3 deep gas well

Posted by Denise della Santina on Feb 25, 2014 9:22:00 AM

TAG Oil set out to establish a strong foundation (both operationally and financially) on its Taranaki shallow oil and gas opportunities, and with 31 successful wells in just a few years, we're pretty happy with how that's gone. But those of you who have been with us for awhile, know that we've also had an eye on prospects with even greater potential, such as the East Coast Basin's unconventional oil, and the Taranaki Basin's deep Eocene-level oil and gas. 

In the current quarter, TAG successfully drilled, logged and cased its first deep Eocene well,Image 1 Cardiff-3, which went to 4,863 meters depth, and intersected 45 meters (148 feet) of potential pay in the successful Kapuni Sands Formation. (We say "successful" because the Kapuni is a proven, strong producer elsewhere in the Taranaki, and its discovery by BP Shell Todd launched a new energy era for New Zealand a few decades ago.) And in the hopes of launching the next era in New Zealand energy, we're prepping to test Cardiff-3 in the near future.

Our shallow drilling program is still intrinsic to TAG's short and long-term success, but the goal with deep drilling is to capture reserves many times larger than what's possible with shallow Miocene drilling. An independent assessment by Sproule International Limited (effective 7/31/13) estimated the undiscovered resource potential on the Cardiff prospect on a P50 basis at 160 billion cubic feet gas and 5.59 million barrels of natural gas liquids.*  Time will tell!

For past posts on the Cardiff deep gas well:

December 10, 2013, A quick update on Cardiff's deep gas / condensate well

November 15, 2013, Cardiff-3 Deep Gas Drilling: One zone at a time, so far so good...

October 25, 2013, 30-Days' Deep on Cardiff-3

September 19, 2013, Drilling Deep in the Taranaki Basin

** Footnote **

Sproule is a qualified reserves evaluator in accordance with NI 51-101 and the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluations Handbook. Best Estimate is considered to be the best estimate of the in-place volumes that will actually be present. It is equally likely that the actual in-place volumes will be greater or less than the best estimate. If probabilistic methods are used, there should be at least a 50 percent probability (P50) that the in-place volumes will equal or exceed the best estimate.

Undiscovered Petroleum Initially-In-Place (equivalent to undiscovered resources) is that quantity of petroleum that is estimated, on a given date, to be contained in accumulations yet to be discovered. The recoverable portion of undiscovered petroleum initially in place is referred to as "prospective resources," the remainder as "unrecoverable."

Prospective resources are those quantities of petroleum estimated, as of a given date, to be potentially recoverable from undiscovered accumulations by application of future development projects.  Prospective resources have both an associated chance of discovery and a chance of development.  There is no certainty that any portion of the resources will be discovered.  If discovered, there is no certainty that it will be commercially viable to produce any portion of the resources.

Topics: exploration well, Taranaki, Cardiff Deep Gas

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

30-Days' Deep on Cardiff-3 Drilling

Posted by Denise della Santina on Oct 25, 2013 2:31:00 PM

Cardiff-3 has reached a depth of 3,918 meters on day-30 of its drilling, and we expect it will take another two weeks to hit our projected depth of 4,900 meters. At that point, we should know whether to proceed with hydraulic fracturing stimulation or not, depending on the total meters of net gas pay, permeability, and the volume of original gas in place that we think we can access with this well bore.

If fracturing is required (the Taranaki Regional Council has granted consent, should it be called for), careful study has shown the formations we're targeting to be completely sealed by more than 4 kilometers of impermeable rock. And TAG will only use the new generation plant-based fracking fluids, which will be contained in a closed system along with the water used. 

On a mid-case (P-50) basis, the prospective resource estimate at Cardiff-3 is 160 BCF gas and 5.49 million barrels of condensate. Now only time...and a little more drilling...will tell.

Image 4

Topics: exploration well, Cardiff, Cardiff Deep Gas

100% compliance on the Ngapaeruru-1 well

Posted by Denise della Santina on Aug 12, 2013 2:15:00 PM

We’re happy to report the positive findings in a report by Horizons Regional Council, which tracks and manages the land, air, and water for a large portion of New Zealand’s north island.

Horizons visited TAG’s Ngapaeruru-1 site 11 times to monitor compliance during construction and drilling activities, and to take ground and surface water samples with each visit to test the different phases of well activity. Visits and water analysis showed no incidents – essentially giving TAG and the well site a clean bill of health.

TAG’s operating goal is to achieve 100% compliance during all activities of its drilling programs, whether it affects worker or environmental safety, and we thank our team for their care and commitment.

More about Horizons Regional Council

The Council focuses on biosecurity and biodiversity, and “works to identify potential hazards and risks to people, property, infrastructure, environment and the local economy.” The area they oversee:

  • Covers 22,215 sq km of land
  • Includes 160 km of coastline, with the Tasman Sea to the west and Pacific Ocean to the east
  • Extends 12 nautical miles out to sea
  • Is home to more than 220,000 people

More about Ngapaeruru-1

We continue to analyze the very encouraging drilling data, and our team expects to make a decision on future activities in the coming months. 

504 TAG ECB07.13 79

Topics: exploration well, East Coast Basin, third-party reports, unconventional oil

Intersecting oil & gas shows in our East Coast Basin source rock

Posted by Denise della Santina on May 20, 2013 10:29:00 AM

Our team is happy to report that our Ngapaeruru-1 exploration well successfully drilled through the Waipawa and Whangai source rock formations in permit 38349, an area we call Boar Hill. Early mud-log analysis returned predominantly wet gas and oil indications – meaning the presence of gas zones or soluble gas in oil – which is incredibly exciting.

This was our first unconventional target in the East Coast Basin, and New Zealand’s first test directly targeting the naturally fractured Waipawa and Whangai formation source rocks, which have been estimated to contain a significant oil and gas resource. While we encountered tricky drilling conditions, everything went smoothly. 

Now on to analysis.

During drilling we cut and recovered sidewall cores over several intervals within the 155 meters of potential unconventional oil and gas pay, sampled total organic content (TOC) and acquired gas analysis at depth. Our team, as well as independent labratories, are now undergoing a detailed evaluation and analysis to determine source rock quality, fracture identification, geochemistry, and more. This data will not only help us better understand the long term feasibility of our East Coast Basin opportunity, but it will guide our technical team to the best completion method and production testing of the well. 

We’ll keep you updated!

Image 1 resized 600

 Sunset over the groundbreaking Ngapaeruru-1 exploration well.

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

Targeting first oil & gas discovery potential in the ECB

Posted by Denise della Santina on May 2, 2013 1:56:00 PM

Here's one of the first photos to come in from TAG Oil's Ngapaeruru-1 wellsite, spudded on April 22nd. Our exploration team is targeting the Waipawa Black Shale and Whangai source rock formations at an anticipated depth of 1,800 meters to test the unconventional discovery potential in this portion of New Zealand's East Coast Basin.


Image 2

This is another step in TAG's long-term strategic plan: to leverage the success -- and cash flow -- of the Company's lower risk conventional assets in the Taranaki Basin, in order to intelligently pursue higher impact exploration opportunities elsewhere in New Zealand.

The Waipawa Black Shale and Whangai formations are oil-and gas-rich source rocks present throughout most of TAG's million-acre East Coast Basin land holdings. Oil sampled from seeps on TAG's East Coast permits proved to be from the Waipawa Black Shale and Whangai formations, and high-quality live oil recovered from shallow wells drilled in 2011 was also confirmed to be generated from these source rocks

Extensive geotechnical work on TAG's East Coast acreage, including proprietary 2D and 3D seismic, have confirmed that the source rock parameters compare favorably to commercial unconventional tight oil and gas plays throughout the world, comparable in total organic carbon content and oil and gas maturity levels, for example, to North Dakota's Bakken shale. 

Topics: exploration well, East Coast Basin, unconventional oil, Technical team, tight oil

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

A1

Behind pipe awaiting infrastructure expansion

 

A2

Waterflood workover

 

A3X

Producing

 

A4

Waterflood workover

 

A7

Behind pipe awaiting workover

 

A8

Behind pipe awaiting infrastructure expansion,

 

A9

Drilled, awaiting test

 

A10

Drilled, awaiting test

 

A11

To be drilled

 

A12

To be drilled

Cheal B

BH1

Producing

 

B1

Behind pipe awaiting workover to initiate Urenui Production

 

B2

Behind pipe awaiting workover to initiate Urenui Production

 

B3

Producing

 

B4ST

Producing

 

B5

Flowing 800 to 1300 bbls/day

 

B6

Testing

 

B7

Flowing 800 to 1075 bbls/day

Cheal C

C1

Producing; oil being trucked to the Cheal Production Station

 

C2

Excellent flow test results, behind pipe awaiting workover

 

C3

To be drilled

 

C4

To be drilled

Sidewinder 

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.

 

SW5

To be drilled

 

SW6

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

Another light oil discovery at Cheal.

Posted by Kris Clark on Mar 3, 2011 4:38:00 PM
Cheal Formation Diagram
We put this cross section together illustrating the formations we’re intersecting, including Urenui, Mt. Messenger and Moki.

PEP 38156 (PMP 38156) came through. We drilled Cheal-B4ST to a total depth of 1810 meters, encountering 17 meters of net oil-bearing sandstones within the Urenui and Mt. Messenger Formations. Electric logs show great porosity and permeability, indicating four separate zones are likely to be oil-charged. Two of the four zones intersected are oil-bearing zones never before encountered in wells within this permit…demonstrating that the whole 7500-acre permit area is oil-prone, with multiple shallow horizons prospective for discovery.

Now it’s on to flow testing and the rest of the planned wells in our Taranaki Basin acreage.

Topics: exploration well, Mt. Messenger, Urenui, Announcements, PMP 38156-D, Cheal Oil Field

Preparations for Cheal-B4ST are in full swing

Posted by Kris Clark on Feb 14, 2011 4:03:00 AM
multi-phase frac
These are the actual balls we used for our multi-phase frac - forgot I had this photo on the camera

Permit 38156 is a hive of activity as we lay the groundwork for the new Cheal well. Cheal-B4 was suspended by its previous operator back in 2006…we're eager to see if our tests bear out as we think they will based on our data.

 

 

 

 

Topics: exploration well, PMP 38156-D, Cheal Oil Field