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Kea strikes commercial oil find at Puka, plans second well

BUSINESSDESK: London-based New Zealand oil and gas explorer Kea Petroleum has announced a commercial oil discovery after flow-testing at its onshore Taranaki Puka-1 well, and is to begin a second well quickly to produce early cashflow.

Listed on the secondary AIM board, Kea says Puka-1 has produced a maximum flow rate of 310 barrels of oil and 1.8 million cubic feet of gas daily, with a testing programme now determining the best production arrangements for future field performance.

Planning for Puka-2 is well advanced and will be a larger-capacity rig to allow higher flow rates and greater production flexibility.

The company's Wingrove production facilities will be moved to the Puka site to allow production from Puka-1 to be started without delay after completion of the main build-up phase of the current test, the company says in a statement lodged with the AIM exchange.

"We are delighted that the latest oil and gas flow and down hole pressures data have led to the conclusion that the Puka discovery is indeed a commercial oil field discovery," chairman Ian Gowrie-Smith says.

Kea would seek to "convert this discovery into a cashflow as soon as possible".