TAG Oil Blog

Unprecedented hydrocarbon pressures put a lid on Waitangi Valley-1

Posted by Denise della Santina on Oct 6, 2014 8:33:00 AM

For those of you who missed our conference call and press release, we began the process of plugging and abandoning the Waitangi Valley-1 well. This job follows a methodical, carefully planned process, starting with getting the drilling equipment that’s no longer necessary out of the way and back to Taranaki. That takes a couple weeks, then we move in the equipment to P&A the well, which is expected to happen shortly.

There are no guarantees in any business, but based on the amount of homework we do, we always aim for good results. And we always take a safety-first approach to all our operations, regardless of the outcome.

One key point made by COO Drew Cadenhead in our call a few weeks ago bears repeating: “The first thing I want to make perfectly clear…is Waitangi Valley-1 is not a dry hole, it is anything but a dry hole…the indications to date are actually quite positive. “

He went on to say: “We've clearly identified that the hydrocarbon kitchen is definitely working in the Waitangi Valley area. There's no doubt about that. We've also confirmed the over-pressured nature of this part of the basin…. We have very high quality, 50 degree API oil. We've got a naturally fractured reservoir down there. And we have extreme pressures trying to push this stuff out.” 

So why abandon? Again in Drew’s words:

“The problem…is that we have encountered extremely high-pressure hydrocarbon zones at very shallow depths, unprecedented in the world … at such shallow depths according to the mud experts that have been working on the East Coast with us…. So we're going to need a concerted effort from all of our TAG guys, and from a number of worldwide experts that we've involved in our process here to reengineer that well.”describe the image

The details Drew shares about the challenges of capping a well with such intense pressures, and why the multiple casings needed to protect the integrity of the hole in that type of over-pressured situation would have made critical data collection impossible, is fascinating. For anyone who wants to hear a recording of the call or read a transcript you can access it here.

From a financial and business point of view, CEO Garth Johnson opened the call reminding shareholders that TAG hadn’t forecasted any production or cash flow contributions as coming from Waitangi Valley, and the higher risk profile of this type of unconventional exploration is precisely why the Company so carefully manages the balance of its portfolio, and its drilling and exploration program. 

“We conduct these operations knowing the challenges, and with the knowledge that we need to take a long-term approach to these opportunities. Companies exploring in the unproven, unconventional basin need to have the staying power and be prepared to drill a number of wells over many years to truly understand the possibility for commercial success.

To have the staying power you need to build a foundation of reserves, production and cash flow, which we've done, and over the years we need to grow that foundation. This is what we continue to do and that allows our team at TAG to take a few shots each year at some potential game changers.”

We’ll be back to the East Coast when we can once again tackle it on our own terms. But for now, it’s back to our bread-and-butter play, where we have more than 50 new prospects lined up, and many more being added to the list for exploration and development, in Taranaki where oil production continues to be strong.

Topics: East Coast Basin, unconventional oil, tight oil

Launching FY 2014 from a great platform

Posted by Denise della Santina on Jul 8, 2013 12:48:00 PM

Here are a few excerpts from TAG Oil’s 2013 year-end conference call, conducted by Chief Executive Officer Garth Johnson, and Chief Operating Officer Drew Cadenhead on 28 June. You can listen to the full podcast here, see details and financials in the year-end press release here, and access the Company’s MD&A / Annual Report here. But these excerpts have some pretty interesting pieces of information shared by Garth and Drew.

The transcript is from Thompson Reuters, and the subheads are ours for your scanning convenience. Needless to say, we’re chomping at the bit to get our next phase of exploration underway!

Drew on TAG’s reserve estimates….

“With a lean team of only about a dozen professionals handling all the operations down here in New Zealand, we knew that focusing on a major infrastructure build-out project as we did would result in a minor slowdown of drilling operations. Now, we still managed to drill six new wells in Taranaki this year, all successful, and our first ever unconventional tight oil test on the East Coast Basin, and I'll be discussing these projects in more detail later in this conference call.

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As far as how our reserve situation looks, we are pleased to announce a moderate growth in 2P reserves even though we concentrated most of the year on successfully completing this major infrastructure project. We produced a total of 641,000 BOEs during the year on an average or an average of about 1,750 as Garth said. Taking that production into account, we managed about a 4% increase in 2P reserves to 6.1 million BOEs, and we maintained our NPV10 at a little over $200 million. It's noteworthy that 88% of our 2P reserves are oil.

We feel timing didn't help us with the actual optics of this year's reserve report. With a fiscal year end of March 31 and then project start-up date of March 27, we didn't have time to bring a lot of our behind pipe production on-stream to provide sufficient data to Sproule for this year's report. As a result, Sproule is mandated by the rules of National Instrument 51-101 to volumetrically estimate proven and probable reserves in newly drilled areas. 

Now, the original discovery wells in Cheal have now been producing since August 2007. So, we have nearly six years of production data on some of our wells now to help us determine how our new wells will behave and produce over time. What we know for sure is all our wells produce far greater ultimate reserves than what was historically predicted using early volumetric data.

A great example of this is Cheal-B3, which after the first year of production was volumetrically assigned ultimate recoverable reserves of 70,000 barrels. Now, after only five years — don't forget most of these wells will have a 15-year to 20-year reserve life — that particular well has produced about 400,000 barrels. Once we get a few years of production history under our belts for each pool, Sproule can revert to using a decline analysis to determine ultimate recoverable reserves. That analysis more accurately reflects the nature of our drainage areas for these Miocene turbidite reservoirs.

The seismic sees the sweet spot that's where we drill, but the ultimate drainage occurs over a much larger area than just that sweet spot. That's the situation we find ourselves in this year with a number of our new wells: Sproule doesn't have enough production history to use a decline analysis yet, so instead they map the sweet spot volumetrically and assign what we think are very conservative reserve numbers. This is particularly evident at Sidewinder, where our new wells, as Garth mentioned, Sidewinder-A5 and Sidewinder-A6 were volumetrically assigned a total of approximately 0.5 Bcf of ultimate recoverable reserves between the two wells in this year's report.

In the first 90 days of production since fiscal year-end, those two wells have now surpassed that reserve allotment, and they show no signs of slowing down. There will obviously be reserve upgrades next year, but the result of this overly conservative reserve assessment in all our new wells definitely separates what we estimate internally for TAG reserves from what Sproule has assigned us this year.

At Sidewinder, this discrepancy has resulted in an impairment on the property this year given
we have the long consenting delay in getting these new wells drilled, as Garth mentioned002 earlier, and then only a few weeks' production data before our fiscal year-end. We're actually considering commissioning a mid-year reserve report update this year, which given the production data we have achieved since the cut-off for this year's report, we are certain will materially affect the reserves we're disclosing at this time.

One thing I would like to mention with respect to our reserves is that 80% increase in 2P original oil in place Sproule has assigned to our core producing formation in Taranaki, the Mt. Messenger formation. This increase in recognized 2P original oil in place can be attributed to Sproule's recognition of the extent to which bearing sands must be contributing to production from individual wells. It stems back to the comment I just made on volumetric reserve determination versus decline analysis earlier.

Sproule is now starting to concede that much larger areas of gross sands have to be contributing to the production from our wells in order to balance existing well performance with volumes in place. The alternative is to assign unlikely recovery factors greater than 60% or 70% to the existing areas to account for what we've already produced. Now what this all means is a very positive outlook for continued additions of proven and probable reserves in the future of our core properties.

Now, I know original oil in place doesn't have any bearing on our NPV now, what it does mean is an independent third-party recognizes the extent of the oil accumulations within our properties and it is only up to TAG to keep drilling and shift those original oil in place numbers to proven reserves.

To date, we have drilled up less than 25% of the Cheal Mining License and 10% of Sidewinder. We've just increased that acreage further with a successful 2012 blocks offer award more than doubling again our acreage right adjacent to these proven areas. So, we're looking forward to many years of continued drilling on this core shallow cash flow machine that we have established now in Taranaki.”

Garth on projects in this year’s pipeline…

“TAG shareholders will be participating in a program that's never been seen in New Zealand before, never been done before, with the potential for some very significant results.

005We've contracted four rigs to be working simultaneously to drill a minimum of nine shallow Taranaki wells, two deep Kapuni wells in Taranaki, and at least one more East Coast unconventional well in the next six to nine months with a cost to TAG of approximately $39 million. It is fully funded using cash flow on our strong balance sheet.

I think this ability to commit to such a program is what separates TAG from any other junior explorers, and we are doing so with confidence that we'll — that what we drill stands up technically and can be done safely, methodically to obtain the best results possible.

We have established low risk baseline production and cash flow at Cheal and Sidewinder, got many more years to drill there. We have an understanding now regarding the relatively low declines associated with the shallow production. We've maintained a respectable capital structure with less than 60 million shares outstanding. We have got a strong balance sheet, no debt, 100% of our infrastructure is owned, and the infrastructure is built to meet our needs for the future.

A lot of other companies are scrambling and needing to dilute to carry out their programs, to complete acquisitions, and doing so with probably three to four times more people on the payroll. So, we are pretty proud of what we've resulted and the foundation that we built that would carry us into the future.

Fiscal year 2014 provides our shareholders with a number of new drilling catalysts and success in one or all of the plays that we are going to be drilling inclusive of the deep Kapuni plays, the East Coast unconventional, and possibly even Canterbury. It will get TAG the opportunity to become a much larger producer and a reserve-based company.

We look at the nine shallow Taranaki wells to be drilled by the end of calendar 2013 as an opportunity to increase our reserves, maintain and possibly grow our baseline production and cash flow, and continue this for many, many years at relatively low risk. It also allows us to add deep drilling and more focus to our East Coast operations, and we have brought in a JV partner in East West Petroleum to our shallow Taranaki program that allows to focus on the deeper and the East Coast plays, and we also have a carry on those initial Taranaki plays up to $10 million, which mitigates a little bit of risk on that shallow play.”

Drew on the Heatseeker deep prospect…

“Now after Cardiff comes the play that probably excites me the most, Heatseeker is a classic explorer's prospect. Picture this: a massive anticline feature, almost a perfect upside down mixing bowl sitting on a table. That's what the 1.5 Tcf Kapuni field looks like on seismic. That pool was discovered in the '50s, has only 18 wells into it, but has drained over a Tcf of gas, 65 million barrels of condensate to-date, and it keeps on spewing hydrocarbons today.

Now, picture right beside that upside down bowl on the table, what looks like an identical upside down bowl sitting right beside it. The only problem is someone has erected a wall, so you can only see three quarters of that bowl. That's Heatseeker, three-way dip closure is clearly seen on existing seismic, but the fourth and critical direction of dip closure is situated right under Egmont National Park where Mount Taranaki, our picturesque volcano is situated. No seismic has ever or will ever be shot in this park.

The nature of the structural belt in this area suggests that there will be that critical fourth direction of closure, but there is only one way to find out and that's to drill a well. We've got a deep rig contracted. We have a service access agreement signed. We'll move the rig on right after Cardiff and find out. As Garth said earlier, any one of these deep plays has the potential to really transform TAG if we're successful.”

Drew on the East Coast Basin…

“We can't give up too much detail at this stage as there is a critical land sale occurring in New Zealand later this year, bid deadline is September 26, and there are few blocks up for bid offsetting us within the East Coast Basin. But I can tell you, we are extremely proud of the operational job we did in the drilling of our first deep test on the East Coast.

Ngapaeruru-1 was drilled without a hitch in about three weeks. We anticipated and encountered extreme overpressures. We encountered swelling mud stones and a few other nasty drilling obstacles that have been a nemesis of past drillers in this tricky basin. But again, our combination of Kiwi experience and North American technology allowed us to drill our well easily, collect all the critical data we intended to, and not have a single environmental health or safety issue.

The small minority of anti-fossil fuel opposition we had before we spudded the well barely had time to organize a protest before we were gone. The vast majority of our neighbors there, all of the regulatory bodies like local and regional councils couldn't believe what a professional operation it turned out to be. Drilling is new to these people. I think they were expecting wooden derricks and a spindle top blowout or something.

The results of this first well were encouraging, to say the least. In order to keep that over pressuring in check, we took no chances and used extremely heavy mud weights while drilling. Despite that, we went from over 1,000 meters of zero oil and gas shows through the over burden to instantaneous strong shows once we entered our target zone. Those shows continued unabated for 155 meters before they instantly disappeared to absolutely no shows again until TD, and that tells us a couple of things.

Number one, the seal looks to be working as no shows were seen above the zone. The zone itself definitely has hydrocarbons in it, but of course that was expected. We knew these source rocks were working from the quality and quantity of oil and gas seeps in this basin, but probably most important is that there seems to be permeability associated with the zone. That's the only way we would see the shows we did even given the high mud weights we were using.

We collected a lot of core, we shot Schlumberger's logs I've never even heard of before focusing on unconventional parameters and we collected live samples of liberated gas from the drilling mud itself. All of this data is now in various labs, mainly in New Zealand and Australia, where we're working with specialists from around the globe to interpret and plan the next step to be taken with the play, and in particular this wellbore.

What I can tell you is, we would definitely be completing this well, probably not for at least three to four months until we get all the data back from the labs and it's all interpreted, but Ngapaeruru-1 was not a red light, it was not an orange light, it is definitely a green light from what we have seen so far.“

Conversation with analyst David Phung about production numbers…

David Phung:  “So, current production is about 2,660s and you still have two wells behind pipe. What do you expect the production to be after you bring those wells on? …. I remember last time you were expecting yield the second half of this year, you'll be averaging around that 3,000, do you need to bring that down a little bit considering that you are going to be at 3,000 already once you bring these wells on?”

Drew Cadenhead:Yes, we've got a couple of wells behind pipe still to tie in. We also have two of our key wells just undergoing regular maintenance, wax-cutting right now. So, given that we've tested all these wells, we do expect production once all wells are on shortly here to be at about 3,000 BOEs a day.  …  Most of the wells we brought on now are — have moved into that stabilized production flow, that really slowed decline section of our curve now, and we're still optimizing wells as we move forward here. Part of our biggest push in the last month or two here is to go well by well and look at our pumping procedures. And each well we do, we're making a little bit of improvement on each one, a little bit of gains. So at this time, I think we'll leave guidance as we said in that 2,500 to 3,000 barrel range for the rest of the year, and if that changes, we'll certainly let you know.“

Discussion of Cheal C3 becoming an oil well after its initial gas flow…

David Phung:…You're saying that the Cheal-C3 well, you are seeing an increased oil rate over time and you're needing to install oil pumping equipment there. Is that the only well where you're experiencing that and what are the before and after oil [cap]?”

Drew Cadenhead: “You're breaking up a little bit there, David, but I think I've got most of that question. Cheal-C3’s starting to look like it's more like an oil well, and do we have any other wells like that? We have one other well like that; it's Cheal-A8, which originally on initial 15-day test showed itself as a pure gas well. We built facilities to assume that.

Same thing with C3, we have built facilities to assume that, but on further production from those wells, we noted that they very quickly turned to predominantly oil producers.

So, obviously, a streak of gas sand within these multilayer turbidite sands, but the rest of them being oil: gas is obviously going to flow preferentially to oil first. So once that initial streak of the gas sand had spewed out, the oil started coming afterwards. So we're shifting two wells that we previously thought were going to be gas wells, Cheal-A8 and Cheal-C3, into Cheal oil producers with our regular pumping configurations.”

David Phung:Okay. So it's not, the gas is from a different interval then, it's not really a mini gas cap of any sort, right?”

Drew Cadenhead: “No. These reservoirs are not single volumes, turbidite reservoirs are a series of  — in a 20-meter section, there might be 30 different sands separated with shales that are 0.5 meter thick each. And oddly in these sands, once in awhile, we just get one of those sands that has oil or gas or even water, once in awhile in it, and the rest of them all oil, and they don't need  — particularly need — to be at the top, they could be in the middle, they could be at the bottom.

It's a very strange physical phenomena, but well proven in these Mt. Messenger and Urenui reservoirs. So, it is not a gas cap situation where we've blown off the energy from the pool. It's single lens of sand within the overall net package of sands that happen to be gas bearing, but the rest are oil bearing, it appears now.”

David Phung:Okay. And maybe just a little bit more detail on Cardiff there. How many intervals are you planning to fracture stimulate, and can you talk about in a little bit more detail on how you plan on stimulating those zones?

Drew Cadenhead:Right. There are three main zones in the Kapuni Sands that we're going to be looking at Cardiff. The top zone is called the McKee Sands, then the K1A Sand, and then the K3 Sand, the deepest one. The deepest is the thickest. Second one is the middle one and the top one is the thinnest. All three sands have been produced and tested, gas and condensate in the past in sub-economic rates. …  We'll have a clean set of logs across all three of those zones, and from those logs and from the information we gather while we are drilling, we'll plan our fracking procedure. We've got our fracking consent already in to the local regional councils here: we do plan on fracking all three zones.

We'll start at the bottom zone, the thickest zone, the K3A and take that one definitively itself first, so we will frac that, we will test it, we will give it a chance to make a definitive decision on it before if it's not economic for us, and then we will move up to the second one and the same thing, test that definitively and then move up to the final McKee sand and test that one.

So at the end of the day, we may well have a continuing completion operation going on there for the next 10 or 15 years; as one zone depletes off we'll go up to the next one, but initially we want to have a fair chance at all three, we don't want a chance any interflow between the three, we want to test each one individually and get definitive answers for each one.”

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Topics: Cheal Production Facility, Financials, Financial coverage, Announcements, Cheal Oil Field, oil and gas production, Cardiff Deep Gas, tight 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!

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 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.


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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

High-impact frontier exploration in New Zealand’s East Coast & Canterbury Basins

Posted by Denise della Santina on Oct 11, 2012 11:48:00 AM

describe the imageAmong all the infrastructure upgrades underway to open the throttle on yield and production in the Taranaki Basin, we never lose sight of our major exploration potential: We have had great exploration success thus far but we still have bigger aspirations!

East Coast Basin activities with partner Apache Corp -- which has agreed to spend up to $100 million to conduct a multi-phased exploration, appraisal and potential development program -- are progressing well. If the necessary drilling consents are obtained from district and regional councils in a timely manner, TAG and Apache anticipate well-site construction to begin in the first quarter of calendar 2013, followed shortly by drilling operations.

To increase the Company’s high-impact opportunities in under-explored areas, TAG has also been actively seeking and acquiring rights to other strategic permits.

First is TAG’s summer acquisition of two new East Coast Basin permits totalling 842,000 onshore acres, which will become a focus of exploration work in the coming years.

We also recently acquired over a million acres of frontier exploration permits situated both offshore and onshore in New Zealand’s Canterbury Basin, an under-explored high potential area with geological similarities to Taranaki. In this South Island acreage, TAG is currently planning an 80 km 2-D seismic program to identify new leads and prospects.

Offshore drilling scheduled for 2013 and 2014 by majors like Anadarko, will allow TAG to focus onshore initially, while holding considerable upside related to its near-shore acreage directly updip of their scheduled deep water offshore wells.

Topics: East Coast Basin, unconventional oil, tight oil, Canterbury Basin

Credit Suisse analysis? TAG Oil is differentiated from its peers.

Posted by Denise della Santina on Oct 5, 2012 8:50:00 AM
Credit Suisse logo

Credit Suisse has initiated coverage of TAG Oil, citing the company’s “layers of success” that include its portfolio of assets, location of operations, strong balance sheet and successful track record and demonstrated ability to execute.

What they specifically highlighted:

  • The 5,000 boe/d in behind pipe production that TAG is set to bring in by Q1/13 will contribute cash flow to a strong net cash balance of C$106 million at FQ1/13. That, plus the lack of long-term debt, will enable the Company to continue to self-fund its growth.
  • 380AandF prod 2012TAG’s proven success in the Taranaki Basin, and the Basin’s multiple layers of prospective hydrocarbon zones: the shallow basin plays of Cheal and Sidewinder which are fueling growth and profitability now, as well as the deeper condensate- rich plays of Hellfire and Cardiff, which will drive midterm growth in FY 2013 and 2014.
  • The potential of long-term tight oil: As exploration with Apache Corp continues in the East Coast Basin, the value generation potential of 13 billion barrels OOIP estimated in TAG Oil’s permit assets could be significant. 
  • New Zealand operations provide a low geopolitical risk, operating and transportation costs are lower cost than many North American oil and gas producers, and there are no seasonal considerations that impede many Canadian drilling operations.
You can access contact information for the Credit Suisse research analyst covering TAG Oil here.

Topics: East Coast Basin, Cardiff, Hellfire, third-party reports, unconventional oil, Financial coverage, Taranaki, Announcements, Apache Corp, New Zealand, Cheal Oil Field, tight oil

TAG Oil a Top Pick on Business News Network

Posted by Denise della Santina on Apr 29, 2012 4:53:00 PM

BNNLogo

A nice bit of press at BNN (Business News Network) Canada, picking TAG Oil as a top stock pick recently. There's a short ad, but at about minute 1:23 you'll see TAG Oil selected as Robert McWhirter's (of Selective Asset Management) first Top Pick: http://ow.ly/azkxS

We'll forgive them for mis-classifying us as a Venezuelan company, since the rest of the profile is spot on.

Topics: East Coast Basin, unconventional oil, Financial coverage, Announcements, tight oil

Farmout agreement with Apache Corporation on the East Coast Basin

Posted by Denise della Santina on Sep 6, 2011 2:48:00 PM

This news is in a press release on our site, but it bears repeating in the blog: We've entered into a farmout agreement with Apache Corporation to explore and potentially develop oil and natural gas resources in the East Coast Basin of New Zealand. 

Apache has agreed to conduct a multi-phased exploration, appraisal and potential development program within TAG’s East Coast Basin exploration permits PEP 38348, PEP 38349 and PEP 50940 (“the Permits”). The Permits comprise in excess of one million prospective acres of onshore oil and gas opportunities located on the southeast portion of the North Island. TAG currently holds a 100% working interest in the properties.

Apache has agreed to pay for a portion of TAG’s direct costs incurred to date, as well as providing TAG a full carry on three phases of operations to a maximum agreed cost in each phase. If the agreed cost is exceeded in any phase, or if additional operations are conducted, Apache will pay a majority share of any drilling or seismic costs in the specified percentages set out in the Agreement.

Each phase of operations will include an aggressive program of both 2D / 3D seismic and drilling with Apache earning an increasing interest in the Permits as follows:  

Phase 1: Apache will earn a 50% interest in 5,120 acres of the Permits after operations are conducted and by committing to Phase 2.

Phase 2:  Apache will earn a 25% interest in the Permits after operations are conducted and by committing to Phase 3.

Phase 3: Apache will earn a 50% interest in the Permits after operations are conducted and by committing to Phase 4 operations.

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Subject to certain conditions, the planned exploration work program will be conducted over the next four years. Seismic operations will start in 2011 with drilling to commence in 2012.

Apache will be the Operator for all activities undertaken pursuant to the Agreement, excluding the initial four vertical wells of the work program that TAG will operate with Apache’s assistance.  Apache will spend up to $100 million upon completion of Phase 3 to earn a 50% interest in the Permits. At the end of Phase 3 operations TAG will remain as operator of the Permits.  If Apache commits to Phase 4 operations, all costs will then be shared equally between Apache and TAG going forward.

We're excited and honored to partner with Apache in the East Coast Basin to achieve a common goal of converting the potential of the Basin to proven reserves with integrity, respect and excellence in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. We are planning an aggressive exploration program with Apache with a starting date of September 2011 to initiate seismic acquisition with drilling to begin in early 2012.

Topics: East Coast Basin, unconventional oil, Announcements, tight oil

This rock could power the world: Time Magazine and TAG Oil.

Posted by Kris Clark on Jul 12, 2011 12:03:00 AM
Time Magazine article on oil and gas-rich shale

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.

Waipawa Black Shale
Oil-permeated Waipawa
source rock

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.

The East Coast Basin tight oil formations have measured primary porosities that are in the 22-30% range, favorably above what’s typically found in the Bakken.

Click here for an independent assessment of the major undiscovered resource potential in TAG’s East Coast Basin unconventional venture. 

Topics: East Coast Basin, unconventional oil, tight oil