Drilling ship Noble Bob Douglas at sea. Photo supplied.
Anadarko expects that by October it will be in a position
to make a decision on whether it will undertake further test
drilling off the Otago coast, or not.
With sample analysis expected to take several more months to
complete, speculation in Dunedin by camps for and against
test drilling has been rife.
Using the drill ship Noble Bob Douglas, Anadarko
completed a $120 million month-long test well about 60km
north of Dunedin in March, but after drilling to the targeted
1700m below the seabed, it capped and abandoned the well,
without finding commercial quantities of gas or oil.
In May, Anadarko applied to government permitting agency New
Zealand Petroleum and Minerals to extend its permit in the
Canterbury Basin, which would have expired in June.
Anadarko's New Zealand corporate affairs manager, Alan Seay,
was contacted yesterday and said analysis was still
continuing, and he was not aware of Anadarko having briefed
any parties in Dunedin on the analysis.
''We're at the stage of still working on the data, from the
March drilling. We'll probably know by about October,'' Mr
Immediately after capping the well in March, Mr Seay said
there had been some ''shows'' of oil and gas, but analysis
would have to determine their significance.
''There's been no firm conclusion [from analysis]. But
there's nothing to suggest we're not interested in coming
back,'' Mr Seay said yesterday.
Expectations from exploration drillers in the southern end of
the Canterbury Basin and Great South Basin have been to find
natural gas, with any oil shows thought to be likely to be in
small amounts of condensate, or light oil.
- Exploration permit 38264 for the Canterbury Basin, covering
17,492sq km, is for 10-years and expires in November 2016.
Permit holders are Anadarko New Zealand Company, 45% and the
operator, Discover Exploration Canterbury NZ B.V, 10% and
Origin Energy Resources NZ Ltd 45%; the latter a listed
Australian energy company.