Bloomberg: Shell, Partners Win Permit to Tap Pohokura Gas Field (Update1): “Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Europe's second-largest oil company, and its partners were awarded a permit to operate the Pohokura gas field off New Zealand's Taranaki coast for 32 years, helping boost the country's dwindling supplies.” (ShellNews.net)
Posted 8 Oct 04
Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Europe's second-largest oil company, and its partners were awarded a permit to operate the Pohokura gas field off New Zealand's Taranaki coast for 32 years, helping boost the country's dwindling supplies.
Pohokura may hold 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, of which 700 billion may be recoverable, according to a mean estimate in April, Shell, OMV AG, and Todd Energy Ltd. said in an application to the government. Those estimates will be reviewed in late 2004 and again once development drilling is completed in 2006.
New Zealand needs Pohokura's gas to make up for the earlier- than-expected decline of the Maui field, which has provided 80 percent of the country's supply for 20 years. Production will begin mid-2006 at a rate of about 50 billion cubic feet of gas and 3 million barrels of condensate a year.
``Pohokura has been a critical component of New Zealand's energy forecasting for sometime,'' New Zealand's Associate Energy Minister Harry Duynhoven said in a statement. ``I am delighted to see this project now proceed.''
Shell owns 48 percent of Pohokura, with Todd, the largest New Zealand-based oil producer, and OMV, Austria's biggest oil company, owning the balance.
The field lies close to shore and the mining permit extends out about 22 kilometers. Development will involve construction of an unmanned platform in 32 meters of water supporting six wells.
At least three wells will be drilled from onshore, next to a proposed production station capable of processing 200 million cubic feet of gas and 15,000 barrels of condensate.
``The reserves in Pohokura carry a large uncertainty range,'' and the field could be tapped using anything from seven to 14 wells, the project's owners said.
In May, generators Contact Energy Ltd. and Genesis Power Ltd. and gas distributor NGC Holdings Ltd. agreed to buy the first portion of the field's gas. They will take about 290 billion cubic feet of gas between 2006 and 2016. No price has been disclosed.
Based on the mean reserves estimated, production is forecast to decline to about 30 billion feet of gas and 20 million barrels of condensate by 2015, and to about 12 billion cubic feet and 5 million barrels of 2025.
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