East Coast Basin
|An unexplored region of vast resource potential, the basin's key attraction are enormous shale beds up to 600 metres thick, with 300 surface showings of oil and natural gas.
|Permits: East Cape1, Castlepoint, Ranui, Wairoa2
B barrels OOIP
conventional and unconventional3
MM barrels unconventional
MM barrels conventional prospective resource4
1. NZEC's application for 100% of the East Cape Permit, covering 1,067,495 acres, is pending Crown approval.
2. In October 2012 NZEC entered into an agreement to become operator and acquire 80% of the Wairoa Permit from Westech Energy. The agreement is pending Crown approval. See October 9, 2012 press release.
3. Net undiscovered petroleum initially in place (OOIP) as identified by AJM Petroleum Consultants. Does not include estimates for the Wairoa Permit.
4. Net prospective resource as identified by AJM Petroleum Consultants (best estimate), assuming 9% recovery for conventional resources and 2% recovery for unconventional resources. Does not include estimates for the Wairoa Permit.
Quick download - East Coast Basin fact sheet
The North Island’s East Coast Basin is an almost completely unexplored region with significant resource potential in sand and shale targets. With 300 known oil or natural gas seeps, the region has intrigued explorers for more than a century. Of the 50 wells drilled to date in the basin, all have focused on the conventional miocene sands. NZEC hopes to be one of the first companies to drill an exploration well into the oil shales, with plans to drill two wells in 2013.
NZEC is among a small number of early entrants to the East Coast Basin and holds or has applied for three onshore permits totalling more than 2 million acres, with a 100% working interest in the East Cape, Castlepoint and Ranui permits and an 80% working interest in the Wairoa permit. Technical work to date suggests a total of 22.3 billion barrels of OOIP. An independent engineering firm has also issued a best estimate for 478 million barrels of prospective (recoverable) resource in unconventional targets using a conservative 2% recovery rate, and 126 million barrels of prospective resource in conventional targets using a 9% recovery rate.
About 50 wells have been drilled in the East Coast Basin over the decades and many logged oil or gas, but none yielded a commercial discovery. Previous exploratory drilling targeted structural highs, a traditional approach in conventional oil and natural gas exploration. Exploration activity in the region is accelerating. Current exploration is targeting a mix of stratigraphic/structural traps in the conventional reservoirs, using modern seismic to identify the target, and unconventional opportunities in shale formations that are believed to be the source rocks for the basin’s entire hydrocarbon system.