TAG Oil Blog

Sidewinder Facility: updating TAG Oil’s gas-processing capacity

Posted by Denise della Santina on Jun 27, 2012 10:29:00 AM

With the number of oil and gas wells TAG has online, waiting to come online, and yet to be drilled, we’ve been upgrading the infrastructure of our Cheal and Sidewinder oil and gas production facilities to ensure that we have the capacity to handle existing and future production.

Sidewinder’s compression unit has been installed and is now operational at full capacity with only two of four wells maintaining this capacity. These high deliverability reserves are being conservatively produced at approximately 8-10mmcf/d with the single compressor to ensure many years of profitable operations from the Sidewinder Production Facility. The Production Station has been purposely built in modules that will allow further expansion should drill results (we hope) warrant. 

TAG 004 sidewinder jun12
Sidewinder Production station entrance with beautiful Mt. Taranaki in the background.
TAG006 compressor jun12
Here’s the new compressor being fine-tuned. This is the unit that should increase field production to 8 to 10 million cubic feet of gas per day in the near future.
TAG 002 geymouth jun12
An interesting shot that shows our neighbor Greymouth Petroleum and the Tiger-1 drilling rig in the background; gives you a feel for how close they’re drilling to TAG‘s property.

Topics: Taranaki, Sidewinder Production Facility, oil and gas production

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

Putting the Sidewinder Oil and Gas Facility through its paces

Posted by Denise della Santina on Oct 3, 2011 1:49:00 PM

In preparation for putting TAG’s Sidewinder Production Facility into operation, it’s getting put through its paces with final review and testing. It was a gray day in Taranaki but the “views” looked good to us.

Sidewinder Plant
An overview of the Sidewinder Plant from the north.
Sidewinder-1 wellhead
Sidewinder-1 wellhead with a tie-in to the Plant. The pipe comes out of wellhead, into the cellar, then heads underground about 20m to the plant site.
horizontal hydrocarbon tank
Our horizontal hydrocarbon tank receives free oil and stripped condensate from the gas stream, holding approximately 400 bbls that’s trucked out for sales.
Separator manifold system
The separator manifold system – she’s a thing of beauty – allows us to direct specific wells to either of our two inlet separators.
inlet-to-gas chromatograph
Somewhat less slick looking but no less important, this is our inlet-to-gas chromatograph.
Inlet Separator 1
Here are the guys running a final test on Inlet Separator #1. It’s looking good.
Inlet Separator 2
This is the backside of Inlet Separator #2.
TAG Oil's Drilling and Completion Manager Jack Doyle
TAG's Drilling and Completion Manager Jack Doyle inspects the meter skid piping.
low temperature knock-out skid
The low temperature knock-out skid lowers gas temperature to -2C, which causes all the entrained condensate to condense and fall out for sales. That insures we’re shipping dry gas.
TAG Oil's Facility Manager James Watchorn
TAG's Facility Manager James Watchorn inspects the J/T valve on the low temperature separator skid. Hey James, how about a smile for the camera?
Heat-to-heat transfer units
Heat-to-heat transfer units that warm the gas back up after we cool it to squeeze the condensate out. Gas must be warmed up before entering the pipeline to avoid hydrate freezing in the line.
James inspects the low temperature separator
James inspects the low temperature separator.
Coriolis meters, U-meters
These are the Coriolis meters (U-meters) that actually measure the out-flowing gas to sales.
Vector's gas chromatograph
This is Vector's gas chromatograph at our site. They maintain this piece of equipment to insure TAG is shipping "Spec Gas" into their pipeline.
meter skid
This is the meter skid - the cash register. It measures out-flowing gas with one last condensate stabilization tower to wring out the last bit of condensate that might be in the gas before TAG Oil ships it.
last check before shipping the gas
Last check before shipping gas: fill the pipeline up with water, pressure it up and make sure there are no leaks. There weren't!

Topics: pipeline, Sidewinder Production Facility, oil and gas production

Sidewinder Production Facility nears completion

Posted by Denise della Santina on Sep 19, 2011 12:49:00 AM

Don't let the big hole in the ground fool you...we're very close to finishing work on our Sidewinder Oil and Gas Production Facility. We're looking ahead to production, and more exploratory drilling, as we put the final pieces into place and make the last of the connections.

vector riser 1
vector riser 2
vector riser 3
vector riser 4

Topics: pipeline, Sidewinder Production Facility

A gas tie-in primer from TAG Oil COO Drew Cadenhead P.Geol.

Posted by Denise della Santina on Aug 10, 2011 6:14:00 PM

LTS Skid

LTS Skid: This is the guts of our process. The LTS skid is where we send our high pressure rich gas and it flows through a JT (Joules Thomson) valve. Through this JT valve there is a significant pressure drop, and in turn the temperature drops as well. The temperature drop causes liquids entrained in the gas phase to drop out. These liquids, once dropped out, remain stable in liquid form and are shipped to our tanks.

Gas-to-gas exchangers

Gas-to-Gas Exchangers: The gas-to-gas exchangers on the skid help with the JT effect, where the two gas streams flow past each other in separate tube bundles.

Gas Export

Gas Export: This is the cash register. We have a gas coalescer vessel on the skid to ensure we don’t flow any debris or liquids through our Coriolis meters. All that’s left then is gas, and the Coriolis meters measure the flow volumes that TAG Oil gets paid on.

Vector Hot Tap

Vector Hot Tap: Not much to look at, this is the entrance point for TAG Oil gas into the Vector system and then onto sales. Vector can’t take a transmission line out of service for a tie in, so the hot tap is a high pressure, live tie in. TAG’s tie in work is being done with large amounts of Vector gas flowing through the line at high pressure.

Topics: Sidewinder Production Facility, oil and gas production