The Kupe Gas Project enters an exciting phase today with the arrival of the gigantic rig that will be used to drill the three production wells into the Kupe reservoir 3000 metres below the surface.
Today’s arrival of the Ensco 107 offshore drilling rig from Singapore, marks a major milestone in the offshore operations, which are progressing to plan and on time.
The rig’s first job will be to install the wellhead platform jacket, one of the largest structural components for the Project’s offshore platform, situated 30 kilometres offshore, from Hawera. The jacket is currently in Port Taranaki harbour waiting for the Ensco 107 to be set up on the Kupe location.
Once the jacket is installed, the rig will then begin drilling the Project’s three production wells and then finally install the topsides of the offshore platform.
Kupe Gas Project Director Peter Ashford said the arrival of the offshore drilling rig was a special highlight for the Project.
``This is an exciting development for all those involved in the Kupe Gas Project and is a culmination of both a great deal of hard work and the successful partnership between Origin Energy, our drilling partner Australian Drilling Associates, Ensco, the rig Owners and the rest of the Project team.’’
The Ensco 107 has been transported to New Zealand from Singapore on Offshore Heavy Transport’s heavy lift vessel – the Willift Falcon.
The rig will go past Port Taranaki for customs and immigration clearance before unloading in Admiralty Bay. It will then be towed out to Kupe.
During the drilling campaign, approximately 100 drilling team members and their support staff will live onboard the rig.
Weighing approximately 16,000 tonnes, the Ensco 107 stands 157 metres high and is 63 metres wide.
The Kupe Gas Project is expected to be completed by mid-2009 and will provide New Zealand with approximately 254 petajoules of natural gas, 1.1 million tonnes of LPG and 14.7 million barrels of light oil (condensate).
Participants in the Kupe Gas Project are:
Origin Energy Resources (Kupe) Limited* 50% (Operator)
Genesis Energy 31%
New Zealand Oil & Gas Limited 15%
Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd 4%
*a wholly owned subsidiary of Origin Energy Limited