ASX-listed Melbana Energy Limited report that spudding of the high impact Pukatea-1 exploration well in New Zealand onshore permit PEP 51153 is imminent with the drilling rig being mobilised to site.

Melbana said mobilisation and preparatory activities are expected to take one week with drilling planned to commence on or about 25 January 2018 and take approximately 33 days to reach a total depth of approximately 3,170 metres.

The primary objective in the Pukatea-1 well is the highly productive conventional Tikorangi reservoir with prospective resources attributable to the Pukatea prospect estimated to range from 1.3 to 40 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) (Low-High estimates) with a Best Estimate of 12.4 MMboe.

Production capability from the Tikorangi Limestone proven at the adjacent Waihapa oil field with individual initial rates up to 5,000 barrels/day and produced in excess of 23 million barrels of oil to date. Good reservoir and oil shows are already demonstrated at the northern edge of the Pukatea prospect by Douglas-1 well drilled in 2012 350m down-dip from the crest of Pukatea-1, further derisking the prospect.

The Pukatea prospect is ideally located, being proximal to existing infrastructure with anumber of potentially near-term, low cost alternative development paths.
Melbana estimates that a successful Pukatea-1 result, consistent with the best estimate of 12.4MMboe, would result in a three-well development plan with a gross production plateau ranging between 6,000 to 10,600 barrels of oil per day for a period in excess of four years and at a very low development cost.

Pukata-1 will also penetrate a secondary objective in the shallower Mt. Messenger sands within the Puka field while drilling to the deeper primary objective Tikorangi Limestone. The likelihood of Pukatea-1 intersecting moveable hydrocarbons in the shallow Mt. Messenger sands within the Puka field is estimated at ~50% probability.

“The onshore Pukatea prospect represents an exciting exploration drilling opportunity for Melbana and we look forward to commencing drilling shortly. The primary Tikorangi objective is a high impact, highly productive target with the potential for prompt development. The secondary Mt. Messenger objective is an added bonus as any discovery in this zone will support the potential re-start of production from the Puka field. Given the overall potential size of the Pukatea prospect, a discovery has the potential to be transformational for Melbana shareholders,” Melbana’s CEO Robert Zammit, said.