Melbana: Pukatea-1 drilling to commence in January next year By Martin Kovacs, 31 Jul 2017

Melbana Energy has reported that TAG Oil, operator of PEP 51153 in the onshore New Zealand Taranaki Basin, has advised that the commencement of drilling of the Pukatea-1 exploration well has been delayed until mid-January next year.

Melbana advised that the delay will provide additional time to undertake civil works on the primary access road and drilling pad, along with undertaking potential drill rig modifications, with the well required to be drilled prior to February 23 under PEP 51153's terms.

“The onshore Pukatea prospect represents a very exciting exploration drilling opportunity,” Melbana Managing Director and CEO Peter Stickland commented. “The revised timing of operations, as advised by the operator, remains consistent with the permit obligations.”

Stickland stated that as Melbana becomes increasingly focused on Cuba it is considering opportunities to reduce its funding requirement of its New Zealand asset, while maintaining exposure to Pukatea-1.

“Melbana will use this operational delay to the drilling of Pukatea-1 to assess potential opportunities to achieve this,” he stated.