Beach Energy Prepares for Drilling Offshore New Zealand
Posted 26/07/2023 13:39
Australian oil and gas company Beach Energy is gearing up for drilling operations at its development well off Taranaki, New Zealand, with the help of Valaris' heavy-duty modern jack-up rig. The drilling of the Kupe South 9 development well, contracted for 70 days, was initially scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2023 but has been delayed to late in the first quarter of 2024. The company expects the well to increase well deliverability for the Kupe Gas Plant and plans for the first gas to be available in the third quarter of 2024.
The Taranaki Basin, located along the west coast of the North Island in New Zealand, covers about 115,000 square kilometers, with most of the area being offshore. Beach Energy operates the Kupe natural gas processing plant, which produces gas from the Kupe field, situated approximately 30 kilometers off the New Zealand North Island. The gas from the Kupe field was expected to meet 15% of New Zealand's annual natural gas demand and 50% of its LPG demand at peak production.
Beach Energy has also been active in drilling campaigns in other basins, with a 90% drilling success rate from 29 wells. It recently connected four of the six Otway development wells to the Otway Gas Plant, significantly increasing well deliverability. The company faced some delays due to hydro pressure test failures during testing, affecting connection timing for some wells. Nevertheless, it aims to connect the Thylacine West 1 and 2 wells in the first half of 2025.
Additionally, Beach Energy is part of a consortium that secured Transocean's Transocean Equinox semi-submersible rig, expected to conduct drilling activities in 2025. The company's drilling agenda includes developing the Artisan and La Bella discoveries, exploration drilling, and abandonment activities, pending regulatory approvals and final investment decisions.
Morné Engelbrecht, Beach Energy's CEO, expressed excitement about the upcoming projects, including Perth Basin exploration, connection of the Enterprise gas discovery, first LNG sales from Waitsia, connection of the Thylacine West wells, and drilling of the offshore Kupe South 9 well. These endeavors are expected to boost Beach Energy's production at a time when markets need their products due to underinvestment in new supply, supply constraints, and robust demand.