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Onshore Taranaki oil producer New Zealand Energy Corp. returned two previously producing wells to production last month and is advancing plans for another three to come on stream by the end of June.
In a statement to the Toronto Stock Exchange overnight, NZEC said it had added 125 barrels per day to its net production totals with the return of the Waitapu-2 and Waihapa-8 wells in the Mt Messenger sandstone formations in March.
The company is now examining options for bringing back three other wells - Waihapa-2, Toko-2B and Waihapa 1B - into production in the second quarter of this year. Toko-2B is currently shut in for installation of high-volume lift operations by mid-April, while artificial lift installation on Waihapa-2 is almost complete.
NZEC currently has 11 producing wells, with up to 16 in prospect with workovers either in train or being examined for Waihapa-2 Waihapa-1B, and the Waihapa-3, 4 and 5 wells.
The three latter wells have produced from the Tikorangi formation in the past, but would target the Mt Messenger geological formation in uphole completion operations.
The company confirmed it had increased proved and probable reserves (2P) by 145 percent at the end of the 2013 financial year, following the acquisition of assets from Origin Energy, to 1.65 million barrels of oil equivalent, with a net present value of C$57.9 million.
NZEC went through a protracted process to purchase the Tariki, Waihapa and Ngaere petroleum licence areas, in the vicinity of Stratford, onshore Taranaki, and the Waihapa production station from Origin. Funding difficulties saw the company enter a joint venture with L&M Energy to complete the purchase.
Headquartered in Vancouver, the company recently announced the appointment of David Robinson as its new chief executive in New Zealand. Robinson has had a high public profile as head of the industry's lobby group, the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand.