August 7, 2008

Pohokura Bonanza for Its Operators


TARANAKI'S Pohokura gasfield has had its reserves upgraded -- meaning it is now not only the country's second- biggest gas producer, but the biggest oil producer as well.

Figures published in the Ministry of Economic Development's latest energy data file show that Pohokura's total gas reserves have been upgraded 24%, while oil reserves have gone up 38%.

Such statistics are collected by the Ministry from the operators of various petroleum production permits in New Zealand.

Pohokura is operated by Shell, which yesterday said it did not publicly comment on energy field reserves information.

The MOD information says Pohokura's total gas reserves are now 978 billion cubic feet, well up on the 791 bcf listed as reserves a year earlier. This means the gas reserves are now more than a third those of Maui, which was considered a true monster field when first discovered in 1969.

These new figures have also resulted in New Zealand's total remaining gas reserves increasing 17% to 2413 bcf. These figures include upgraded reserves in producing fields as well as estimates from fields yet to come into production, such as the Kupe field off the South Taranaki coast.

Meanwhile, the Pohokura oil reserves have increased from 44 million barrels to 61.6 million barrels.

The MOD data says this means that over its lifetime, Pohokura will yield more oil in the form of condensate than crude oil from either the Tui field, which has reserves of 50.1 million barrels, or the Maari field now being developed, which has a current reserves estimate of 49 million barrels.

Total remaining oil reserves in New Zealand increased 12% to 217 million barrels, the ministry said.

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