Shell Acquires License Offshore New Zealand

Shell Acquires Licence Offshore New Zealand

Shell GSB Ltd (Shell) has assumed operatorship, as from 1 April 2012 for New Zealand exploration license PEP 50119 in the Great South Basin, from joint venture partner OMV New Zealand Ltd (OMV).

The license covers an area of 33,500 km2 in deep water, south of New Zealand’s South Island.  A large 4,820 km2 3D seismic survey was completed late-March by the seismic survey vessel Polarcus Alima. OMV was the operator during the seismic acquisition phase.

The successful acquisition was carried out safely due to predominantly good weather and excellent execution, more high quality data was collected than initially planned and all within budget.

Chairman of Shell Companies in New Zealand, Rob Jager, said the focus at this stage will be on the maturation of the prospectivity in the license, and ensuring safe and responsible operations. Although there are good indications in the area that natural gas could be present, a final decision on drilling an exploration well will be taken at a later stage.

Shell joined the Great South Basin joint venture in August 2011 taking a 50% share. Existing partners OMV and PTTEP New Zealand Ltd retained 18% each with Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd retaining 14%. OMV remained as operator until the end of the seismic acquisition programme.

“Safety is Shell’s first priority. We have a Goal Zero operating philosophy which demands no harm to people and protect the environment. Another top priority is to get to know local people and communities better so that we have a strong understanding of their views and a positive foundation for continuing engagement over the coming years,” said Jager.

The Great South Basin venture reflects Shell’s continuing commitment to exploration and production in New Zealand.

“Shell has been investing in New Zealand for more than 100 years and safely operating offshore for more than 30 years in the challenging conditions off the coast of Taranaki. This is an exciting opportunity to bring our local and global experience to another promising region,” Jager said.

Shell’s operatorship in the Great South Basin joint venture builds on its continuing investment in Taranaki, where it is a joint venture partner in the Maui, Kapuni and Pohokura gas fields.

Source: Shell, May 8, 2012