TAG Oil has indicated that a potential oil pay in a secondary target of its Pukatea-1 exploration well off the coast of New Zealand.

Spudded last month, the Pukatea-1 exploration well is located in TAG Oil’s Puka permit (PEP 51135) in the Taranaki Basin of the country.

According to the company, intermediate casing has been set and the top of the primary deep Tikorangi Limestone formation target is expected to be reached in a few days.

The well has a total current planned depth of around 3,170m.

TAG Oil CEO Toby Pierce said: “It is highly probable that we can produce from the Mt Messenger zone in this well in due course and, along with the shut-in Puka-2 wellbore, will allow us to monetise this asset at the appropriate time.

“Furthermore, the well is currently on budget and schedule, and we are excited ahead of penetrating the primary Tikorangi target in approximately one week’s time.”

“It is highly probable that we can produce from the Mt Messenger zone in this well in due course.”

The potential oil pay encountered in the well’s secondary Mt Messenger target has around 10.4m of true vertical thickness gross sandstone.

Based on electric log data analysis, the company determined that there is at least one potentially oil-charged zone with movable hydrocarbons, excellent porosity and permeability.

TAG Oil also noted that the wellsite geologist observed good oil fluorescence and clean sand similar to the Puka-2 well.

The company’s portfolio includes a 100% interest in the Cheal discovery, which produces oil and gas from the Mt. Messenger and Urenui formation.

In addition, TAG Oil has a 100% interest in the Cardiff gas/condensate discovery and other deep gas prospects in the Kapuni formation.