TAG Oil Blog

Kris Clark

Recent Posts

TAG Oil CEO & Controller visit the field

Posted by Kris Clark on Feb 9, 2012 8:18:00 AM

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. 

Ensign Rig set up to drill Cheal B7
The Ensign Rig getting set up to drill Cheal -B7, TAG's follow-up to the highly successful B5 well. Cheal-B5 had the most extensive pay interval ever recorded by a Cheal well, and the highest flow rate recorded from from a Mt. Messenger well.

Executive Assistant Dan Brown in front of B5
TAG Controller Dan Brown stands proudly in front of the Cheal-B5 wellhead. As announced December 5th, TAG perforated and flow tested 20 meters of continuous oil-and-gas pay in the Cheal-B5 well, in the 35 meters of net pay intercepted within the primary Mt. Messenger Formation. Today it’s still going strong. 

CEO Garth Johnson and Lead Engineer Jack Doyle
Lead engineer Jack Doyle and CEO Garth Johnson, in front of the Cheal-C2 discovery well. This important step-out well in TAG's C-block discovery area flow tested ~14 million cubic feet per day (~2,333 BOE/day) on a 48/64" choke, with associated condensate production increasing during testing. Located about 3.5 km's NW of TAG's Cheal-B5 well, it significantly extends the known oil-and-gas saturation area within TAG’s Cheal permit. The success of Cheal-C2 also adds another high-impact target to TAG's prospect portfolio in the Mt. Messenger and Urenui formations.

New Plymouth's Sidewinder Facility
A shot of the loading arm at the Sidewinder Facility: used to fill the oil tank in the background with oil produced from TAG’s successful Sidewinder exploration wells drilled in late 2011.  

Topics: Mt. Messenger, Taranaki, Cheal-C site, Cheal Oil Field, oil and gas production, Sidewinder Discovery

Donating to the Stratford and Eltham Volunteer Fire Brigades

Posted by Kris Clark on Dec 1, 2011 7:51:00 AM

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.

Stratford and Eltham Volunteer Fire Brigades Fire Brigade Hot Fire Training
Firefighting training Training techniques
TAG supports the Stratford and Eltham Volunteer Fire Brigades Stratford and Eltham Volunteer Fire Brigades Hot Fire Training

Topics: Taranaki, New Zealand

Cheal Production and Tag Exploration Activities Continue as Planned: Incorrect Reports in New Zealand Media.

Posted by Kris Clark on Nov 21, 2011 1:32:00 PM

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.

Cheal Facility expands to help accommodate BOE from new wells.

Posted by Kris Clark on Jul 20, 2011 12:16:00 AM

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.

View of Mt. Taranaki from TAG Oil's Cheal-C site
Great view of Mt. Taranaki from Cheal-C.

Topics: Cheal Production Facility, oil and gas production

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

Construction update.

Posted by Kris Clark on Jun 30, 2011 12:05:00 AM

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.

TAG Oil pipeline TAG Oil pipeline in progress
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.
TAG Oil Sidewinder Production Facility gas coalescer hydrotest in progress
The facility piling goes in, and in town, we run the gas coalescer hydrotest.

Topics: pipeline, oil and gas production, Sidewinder Discovery

Great Sidewinder-2 test flow rates: ~1467 BOE per day.

Posted by Kris Clark on Jun 23, 2011 12:05:00 AM
TAG Oil Sidewinder 2 flow test

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

Casey Research, LLC joins the list of analysts with an eye on TAG Oil.

Posted by Kris Clark on Jun 22, 2011 12:04:00 AM

Marin Katusa of Casey Research, LLC. is now among the analysts covering TAG Oil. www.caseyresearch.com  

Please see all the analysts with investment coverage on TAG Oil here.

Topics: third-party reports, Financial coverage, Announcements

Sidewinder-4 discovery well...good flow test.

Posted by Kris Clark on Jun 9, 2011 12:05:00 AM

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

Results in a 2-for-1 test on the Mt. Messenger and Moki Formations.

Posted by Kris Clark on Jun 6, 2011 12:06:00 AM

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.

Mt. Messenger and Moki Formations test

Topics: Mt. Messenger, Moki Formation, Sidewinder Discovery