Partners change in NZ's Great South Basin JV

December 17, 2013

Satellite photo of New Zealand's South Island, the Maori "Mainland." Photo from NASA, edited by Norman Kuring.One of the original JV members, PTTEP, has withdrawn following interpretation of new 3D seismic, leaving Shell as operator (50%), with OMV (185), and Mitsui (14%).

PTTEP New Zealand Ltd. has withdrawn its 18% share from the Great South Basin venture, Petroleum Exploration Permit (PEP) 50119, located off the coast of New Zealand's South Island.

The original joint venture agreement for six blocks (5,6, 11,12, 13,1 4) was signed on 7 July 2007, and included PTTEP (36%), OMV New Zealand Ltd. (Operator; 36%), and Mitsui E&P Australia (28%). The blocks were part of the 40 blocks offered in the New Zealand Offshore Great South Basin Bidding Round 2006 organized by the Crown Minerals, Department of Economic Development of New Zealand. The  permits were awarded for an intial term of five years.

Royal Dutch Shell plc subsidiary Shell New Zealand joined the project in August 2011, taking 50% of the overall interest in the project (18% each from PTTEP and OMV, 14% from Mitsui). Package 1 blocks (11, 12) were relinquished, and the new JV partners retained Blocks 5,6, 13, and 14, covering 33,535sq km.

New 3D data was acquired in 2011-2012, and interpretation was completed in May 2013, according to PTTEP. No wells have yet been drilled.

Thailand-based PTTEP said it made the decision to withdraw from the JV based on its current investment strategy. The remaining joint venture parties, Shell New Zealand (operator; 50%), OMV New Zealand Ltd. (18%), and Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd. (MEPAU; 14%), are continuing the venture and are working through various options for how the partnership will be structured into the future.

“We remain dedicated to the venture and optimistic about the natural gas prospects in the Great South Basin. The decision to drill an exploration well and the timing of that drilling program is still being considered by the joint venture parties,” said Shell Country Chairman, Rob Jager.

NASA satellite photo of New Zealand's South Island, the Maori "Mainland."



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