4 Nov 2020

OMV planning 2022 in-fill drilling campaign at Maui

4:57 pm on 4 November 2020

Austrian-based oil and gas company OMV says it is in the early stage of looking at tenders for a drilling campaign to extend the life of the Maui field offshore of Taranaki.

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The Pohokura Platform off the coast of North Taranaki. Photo: Supplied

Corporate affairs manager Matiu Park said the campaign earmarked for 2022 would involve in-fill drilling at Maui which has been in production for 40 years.

"For the type of campaign we're looking at it, it's an in-fill development, so one rig most likely sitting out on the facility and then going down through the existing wells and out into those formations getting further gas from the same reservoir."

Park said the rig could also be used to further investigate other opportunities including Toutouwai 1 where positive results were recorded from a drilling campaign in April.

"That's what's being investigated at the moment and it will really hinge on rig capability, timeframes and further analysis of the Toutouwai permit to see if it is a commercial reality."

He said it was unclear yet how much OMV would be investing in the campaign which could extend beyond 2022.

"It will be millions of dollars again hence the early phase so we can really understand what the costs are going to be, how long and what sort of restriction Covid-19 is going to have on the operation."

Taranaki Chamber of Commerce chief executive Arun Chaudhari welcomed the news.

"I would view that very positively. That equals more jobs in Taranaki and means we can keep some of the bigger players in the sector interested in staying here."

Chaudhari said while Taranaki was doing well in working towards a transition away from fossil fuels it needed more gas to secure the future of Methanex - the world's largest methanol producer - in the region.

"My only concern would be that we don't lose too much human capital to overseas operations in the meantime."

Climate Justice Taranaki spokesperson Urs Signer said news of OMV's plans was distressing.

"OMV's plans to keep drilling for fossil fuels off the Taranaki coast is a threat to a stable climate for future generations. While a 'positive result' at Toutouwai could lead to full bank accounts for their CEO and shareholders, the last thing we should be doing in 2020 is drilling for more fossil fuels."

Signer said OMV was one of just 100 companies responsible for more than 70 percent of the world's climate pollution since 1988.

"The company should wind down their operations and begin decommissioning plans for the Maui, Maari and Pohokura sites, rather than drilling more wells or selling them off, we are in a climate emergency and need to act accordingly."

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