Brownlee praises Maari oil field

Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Maari Oil Field is proving a success story of the petroleum sector, having produced 6.5 million barrels of oil for export in its first year of production.

Mr Brownlee is due to attend an event at Okurukuru Function Centre in New Plymouth tonight to mark the commissioning of the Maari field a year ago.

Maari is located about 80km off the South Taranaki coast.

Covering approximately 34sq km of the offshore Taranaki Basin, Maari is a joint venture operation involving international and local interests.

These include OMV New Zealand Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Austrian-based OMV Group (69 percent), Todd Maari Limited (16 percent), Horizon Oil International Limited (10 percent), and Cue Taranaki Pty Ltd (5 percent).

Drilling of the Maari-1 exploration well commenced on 30 October 1998, which confirmed hydrocarbons in three geological areas.

Subsequent development towards commercial production then began in the last quarter of 2008 and production of a light crude oil began in February 2009.

In 2008, oil was New Zealand's third-largest export earner. Last year, the Crown received nearly $1 billion from petroleum production, with $543 million being from royalty payments alone.


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