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Chase, T.E.; Seekins, B.A.; Young, J.D.; Wahler, J.A.
The US Geological Survey conducted a series of marine geologic and geophysical cruises in the southwest Pacific Ocean in 1982 and 1984 as part of a program with participation by Australia and New Zealand. These two SOPAC expeditions obtained various data, which have been compiled into a series of charts and thematic products for the offshore areas of Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. The maps and charts presently being compiled or revised combine previously collected data with information from the SOPAC expeditions. Regional charts at a scale of approximately 1:3 million are included, and more detailed coverage is available at 1:1 million. Additional geologic information-such as gravity, magnetics, and possibly sediment isopachs-is provided on overlays to the topographic base charts. Reproductions of the seismic reflection data are also included, and tracklines with both time marks and shotpoints will permit correlation with the analog and digital seismic records.
Katz, H.R.; Herzer, R.H.
New Zealand had an increase in petroleum production, while exploration drilling continued at 1983's high level. Although there was an overall drop in licensed acreage, the amount of seismic exploration increased markedly, with 1,100 km of acquisition onshore and 4,300 km offshore. A new oil discovery, Toetoe-1A, was made near McKee field. Combined production from Kapuni, Maui, McKee, and Kaimiro fields was 2,978.56 x 10/sup 6/ m/sup 3/ of gas (up 25%) and 962,323 m/sup 3/ of condensate (up 14%). The combined McKee and Pouri fields, which came on line in November, are producing oil at about 5,200 b/d (830 m/sup 3//day). All licenses in Tonga have been relinquished, and all company data are on open file. New petroleum legislation will be in force in 1985. Fiji had no exploration activities. Three license blocks have been renewed at reduced acreage. Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands are still awaiting legislation for petroleum exploration. A second stage of a CCOP/SOPAC-sponsored tripartite project (S. P. Lee cruise) was carried out in both countries, and also in Tonga and the New Ireland basin of Papua New Guinea. On the mainland of Papua New Guinea, 5 wells were drilled to a combined depth of 10,158 m (up 10.9%). All were dry. Concession areas comprise 11 Petroleum Prospecting Licences with a total of 1,062 blocks (at 5-min graticules).
Katz, H.R.; Herzer, R.H.
New Zealand had an increase in petroleum production, while exploration drilling continued at 1983's high level. Although there was an overall drop in licensed acreage, the amount of seismic exploration increased markedly, with 1100 km of acquisition onshore and 4300 km offshore. A new oil discovery, Toetoe-1A, was made near McKee field. Combined production from Kapuni, Maui, McKee, and Kaimiro fields was 2978.56 x 10/sup 6/ m/sup 3/ of gas (up 25%) and 962,323 m/sup 3/ of condensate (up 14%). The combined McKee and Pouri fields, which came on line in November, are producing oil at about 5200 b/d (830 m/sup 3//day). All licenses in Tonga have been relinquished, and all company data are on open file. New petroleum legislation will be in force in 1985. Fiji had no exploration activities. Three license blocks have been renewed at reduced acreage. Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands are still awaiting legislation for petroleum exploration. A second stage of a CCOP/SOPAC-sponsored tripartite project (S.P. Lee cruise) was carried out in both countries, and also in Tonga and the New Ireland basin of Papua New Guinea. On the mainland of Papua New Guinea, 5 wells were drilled to a combined depth of 10,158 m (up 10.9%). All were dry. Concession areas comprise 11 Petroleum Prospecting Licenses with a total of 1062 blocks (at 5-min graticules). 5 figures, 5 tables.
Katz, H.R.; Herzer, R.H.
In New Zealand, a moratorium on petroleum exploration licensing was in effect throughout 1985. Seismic surveying activity was greatly reduced, with 960 km shot offshore and 780 km shot onshore. Drilling continued at a high rate, with 25 wells drilled, 5 offshore and 20 onshore. Total meterage exceeded 41,000 m. Although there were good indications of hydrocarbons, no major discoveries were made. At the end of 1985, the government lifted the licensing moratorium with the announcement of an offer of 50 blocks in the offshore Taranaki basin. Total petroleum production figures for New Zealand were 3802 million m/sup 3/ of gas, 1095 thousand m/sup 3/ of condensate, and 452 thousand m/sup 3/ of oil. The entire production is from fields in the Taranaki basin. In 1985, production of synthetic gasoline began at the Motunui synfuels plant using Maui and Kapuni gas and condensate as feedstock. Tonga introduced new petroleum legislation and is offering license blocks for exploration. No activity was reported from Fiji, Vanuatu, and Solomon Islands. License holdings in Papua New Guinea increased 78.3% to 16 petroleum prospecting licenses with a total of 1894 blocks. Seismic surveys amounts to 1500 km on land and 500 km offshore in 1985, after virtually no seismic in 1984. Drilling was up 23.9%. 3 figures, 6 tables.
Herzer, R.H.; Katz, H.R.
In New Zealand, 5 new licenses were granted in offshore Taranaki and 4 licenses were relinquished in other parts of the country. Seismic survey activity increased, partly due to a dense survey over Maui field. Sniffer surveys were used for the first time in New Zealand in 5 licensees. Onshore seismic totaled 717 line-km, and offshore seismic totaled 3693 line-km. Drilling continued at a high level for New Zealand with 12 onshore and 5 offshore wells totaling 57,147 m. Two gas and condensate discoveries, Tariki-1A and Ahuroa-2A, were made in the overthrust play of eastern Taranaki, and a gas and condensate (possible oil) discovery was made off the south Taranaki coast at Kupe South-1. Total petroleum production increased to 4546 million m/sup 3/ of gas, 1208 thousand m/sup 3/ of condensate, 186.7 thousand m/sup 3/ of LPG, and 501 thousand m/sup 3/ of oil. Early depletion of the D-sand reservoir in Maui-A field led Shell BP Todd to shoot 1598 km of seismic over the field and to drill 3 appraisal wells. Tonga has released a new license map with 119 blocks offered. Significant changes in legislation include increased royalties, a reduction of exploration license duration to 11 years (but 25 years for development of a discovery), and replacement of expenditure commitments by license work programs. In Papua New Guinea, Iagifu-2X discovery was confirmed with the drilling of Iagifu-3X, which established 4 oil pay zones in the field. The Papuan foldbelt is now considered a very attractive oil province, and most of the basin is under license. 4 figures, 6 tables.
Exploration in New Zealand in 1979 reached one of the lowest levels recorded. Offshore, there was no drilling or seismic work, and the remaining concession area amounts to a mere 9088 sq km. Onland concession areas, all owned by the government company Petrocorp, are 14,771.4 sq km; 2 important areas were relinquished and others were enlarged. One rig was drilling throughout the year, totaling 6230 m. Seismic surveys amounted to 7 party-months and 554.55 km, which is 66% of 1978. Platform A of the Maui field started production in June. Despite this, the combined production of the Kapuni and Maui fields decreased to 61.5% for gas and 64.3% for condensate - or 1,307.464 x 10/sup 6/ cu m of gas and 476,893 cu m of condensate. LPG was obtained at some higher rates, that is, 19,577.93 cu m or 128.8% of last year's production, and natural gasoline at 8,591.61 cu m or 102.1%. In Tonga, last year's unsuccessful drilling of 3 dry holes was followed by marine seismic surveys north and east of Tongatapu Island. In Fiji, offshore seismic surveys of 6000 line-km were completed, as well as geochemical surveys looking for sea-bottom anomalies. With the farm-in of Chevron Overseas Inc., drilling is planned for at least 2 offshore wells early in 1980. In the New Hebrides, draft legislation is now underway for a petroleum act. Also, in the Solomon Islands, draft legislation was put before parliament near year end, and final arrangements are to be completed in 1980. In Papua New Guinea no seismic or geologic field surveys were conducted. No drilling was undertaken, but access and site preparations were carried out for Kiunga 1 well to be drilled by Niugini Gulf Oil Pty. Ltd. early in 1980. Minor concession changes have been made.
Cahill, J.P.; Katz, H.R.
In New Zealand, 14 new licenses were granted: 6 in the East Coast region, 6 offshore Taranaki, and 2 in the South Island. Two licenses were relinquished, and the onshore Taranaki license held by petrocorp expired. Onshore seismic activity totaled 525 km; offshore seismic activity totaled 3,221 km (reconnaissance seismic surveys by TCPL accounted for much of the offshore activity). Drilling decreased slightly, with 18 wells drilled (13 onshore and 5 offshore) total 55,203 m. The drilling of Kora-1 on a volcanic structure in the North Taranaki basin has led to speculation about a possible oil discovery. Total petroleum production remained steady at 4,360 million m/sup 3/ of gas, 1,127 thousand m/sup 3/ of condensate, 190 thousand m/sup 3/ of LPG, and 509 thousand m/sup 3/ of oil. In Papua New Guinea, further discoveries in the overthrust belt of the Papuan basin have confirmed the highly prospective nature of this area. A major gas and condensate field with 4 pay zones was established in the Hides structure east of Juha field, and early in 1988 gas, condensate, and oil were found in the Hedinia structure south of the Iagifu oil field discovered in 1986. Total drilling amounted to 15,725.55 m during 1987. Seismic surveys covered 858 km onshore and 4,747 km offshore. There are 36 active Petroleum Prospecting Licenses: 32 in the Papuan basin and 4 in the North New Guinea basin. No new developments were reported in Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. 2 figs., 6 tabs.
New Zealand had an increase in exploration activity, particularly drilling. 30,876 m were drilled onshore (up 62%) and 14,034 m offshore. Concession holdings slightly increased offshore (to 230,665 km), but dropped to nearly half onshore (to 34,353 km). Seismic surveys decreased to 477.5 line-km onshore and 1128 km offshore, down 56% and 93%, respectively. Oil, gas, and condensate were found in several wells on small structures close to the recently discovered McKee field. Regular production from McKee began in April 1984, at an initial rate of 1000 BOPD. Production from Kapuni and Maui fields combined was 2,381.313 x 10/sup 6/ m/sup 3/ of gas (up 9.4%) and 845,286 m/sup 3/ of condensate (down 2.3%). Construction of a 1200-MT/day methanol plant, which uses natural gas from these fields, was completed. No exploration was carried out in Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands. In Fiji, all prospecting licenses expired, but renewal terms on areas reduced by 50% were agreed on in principle. Papua New Guinea had 4 wells drilled to a combined depth of 9158 m (up 23.2%). The Juha-2X appraisal well confirmed the discovery of gas and condensate in the Juha anticline. In the Gulf of Papua, the offshore appraisal well, Pasca-A3, blew out and was abandoned. The total area of petroleum prospecting licenses slightly increased to 74,715 km. 4 figures, 5 tables.
In New Zealand, new incentives by the government have greatly stimulated interest in exploration. On land, four wells were completed during 1980 at a total depth of 10,120 m. One well was a commercial oil and gas discovery. Offshore, the first exploratory well since 1978 was spudded shortly before the end of 1980. Offshore concession areas have increased over ten-fold, to 107,044 km/sup 2/; on-land licenses, which are all owned by the government company Petrocorp, decreased to 11,591 km/sup 2/. During 1980, the combined output of Kapuni and Maui gas was 1,069,049 x 10/sup 6/m/sup 3/, a decrease of 18.23%. This reflects the new gas-recycling operation at the Kapuni field, which started in April. Combined condensate production was down only 12.15%, amounting to 418,941 m/sup 3/. Natural gasoline was down 17.44%, to 7093 m/sup 3/, whereas LPG production went up 39.44%, to 27,301 m/sup 3/. In Tonga, 925 km of offshore multichannel seismic, gravity, and magnetic surveys run in 1979 have been processed and interpreted. In Fiji, the first two exploratory wells ever drilled were dry. In Vanuatu, the newly independent republic of the former New Hebrides Condominium, no petroleum legislation has so far been introduced. CCOP/SOPAC and ORSTOM jointly ran a 4000-km single-channel reflection seismic survey between the northern islands. Several sedimentary basins with over 2500 m of slightly deformed sediments of Miocene-Pliocene age have been delineated. In the Solomon Islands, there is still no petroleum legislation, but the draft of the Petroleum (Exploration and Development) Act has been completed and will go before Parliament during 1981. In Papua New Guinea, one well was drilled to 3027 m and abandoned as dry. It confirmed the regional stratigraphic interpretation and had encouraging hydrocarbon indications in the Mesozoic part of the sequence. 6 figures, 5 tables.