Anadarko won't say if Otago well dry

By Heather McCracken

Workers on the Noble Bob Douglas drilling ship. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Workers on the Noble Bob Douglas drilling ship. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Oil company Anadarko won't confirm claims its exploration off the Otago coast has been unsuccessful.

Greenpeace said leaked information showed the company had found only hard rock granite, schist and clay.

Anadarko's New Zealand manager Alan Seay wouldn't confirm or deny the reports but told Radio New Zealand (RNZ) the company was still analysing information from the drilling.

"We're in the very early stages of what they call logging, which is what they call gathering the information from the well, and it's way too early to draw any conclusions at this stage," he said.

"I'm being told that we're conducting the logging, we're gathering the information, and it's going to take quite a few months to do the analysis and to work out what the next steps might be."

Seay said planning for a second well in Otago was still in place, "but it was always a long shot".

RNZ reported the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment had not received notification of an intention to drill a second hole or hydrocarbons being found.

Dougall Roberts of Roberts Oil told RNZ he felt the Greenpeace claim was a bit "bogus".

"These are enormous, enormous areas to consider when you're looking for ... a defined resource.

"I think there's more work to go."

Roberts said the prospects for finding oil in the area were still good.

Anadarko did not find commercial quantities of oil or natural gas in its drilling in the Taranaki Basin last year.

- APNZ

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