Five new petroleum exploration blocks on offer in Canterbury Basin
The Government is inviting applications for new petroleum exploration permits for five blocks covering 30,000 square
kilometres of the onshore and offshore Canterbury Basin.
The three offshore and two onshore blocks will be allocated by competitive work programme bidding, with applications
closing on 30 April 2003.
"The Canterbury Basin is little-explored and is considered highly prospective," Associate Minister of Energy Harry
Duynhoven said today.
Recent exploration in the Basin has identified a new offshore prospect named Corvette, which is thought to contain
approximately 1 trillion cubic feet of gas, 50 million barrels of condensate and significant volumes of liquid petroleum
Other offshore prospects were identified in the 1970s and 1980s. The Galleon-1 well north of Dunedin tested 10 million
cubic feet a day of gas and 2300 barrels a day of condensate, but was judged sub-economic at the time. The Clipper-1
well off Oamaru also had shows of gas and condensate.
"Geological understanding of the Basin, particularly of potential source rocks, has considerably improved since these
earlier exploration efforts," Mr Duynhoven said. "The basin has a proven petroleum system with excellent potential for
both oil and gas, so I expect strong interest in this permit round." For details of the Canterbury Basin permitting
round, visit the Crown Minerals website www.crownminerals.govt.nz, or contact:
Clyde Bennett, Manager Petroleum Business Unit, Crown Minerals, Ministry of Economic Development Tel: +64 4-472 0030
Fax: +64 4 499 0968 email@example.com
Canterbury Basin: technical information
The Canterbury Basin contains Mid-Cretaceous to Quaternary basin fill with sediment thickness over 6 km deep in places.
This gives good comparable petroleum generation characteristics to most Late Cretaceous-Tertiary coaly sediments in the
producing Taranaki Basin.
There are three main types of exploration plays in the Canterbury Basin. Two are associated with drape structures over
basement horsts that formed during mid-Cretaceous normal faulting, which were targets for three of the four offshore
wells, or with stratigraphic trapping beneath a Late Cretaceous unconformity. The third play is associated with faults
and anticlines that have grown during Miocene to Recent time. Primary reservoir targets are Late Cretaceous or Eocene
sandstones, with secondary targets of Oligocene limestones.