Sapura Energy, through its wholly owned subsidiary Sapura Exploration and Production (NZ) (Sapura E&P), has signed a series of farm-in agreements to acquire a 30% interest in five offshore exploration permits within New Zealand’s Taranaki Basin.

The company reached the agreements with OMV New Zealand and Mitsui E&P Australia.

Sapura Energy president and Group CEO Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Shahril Shamsuddin said: “We are excited about our entry into New Zealand, which may open up opportunities in a proven area for Sapura E&P.

“This is a strategic entry for Sapura E&P and we will be working with our partners to mature potential drilling locations prior to making well commitments.

“The joint venture will see Sapura E&P utilising its sub-surface technical expertise to support the exploration activities within these exploration areas.”

“The joint venture will see Sapura E&P utilising its sub-surface technical expertise to support the exploration activities within these exploration areas.”

The exploration permits to be farmed-in comprise PEP 57075, PEP 51906, PEP 60091, PEP 60092 and PEP 60093, and are located in shallow water within the oil and gas region of the Taranaki Basin.

So far, more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent were discovered in the basin.

Through the agreements, Sapura will have access to an area spanning more than 8,900km².

All five offshore permits will be operated by OMV.

Sapura E&P will hold a 30% participating interest in PEP 57075 and PEP 51906, while the remaining 70% interest will be owned by OMV.

Apart from Sapura E&P’s 30% participating interest in PEP 60091, PEP 60092 and PEP 60093, OMV and Mitsui hold 40% and 30% in the permits, respectively.