Malaysia-headquartered independent Matahio Energy has boosted its upstream portfolio with completion of the acquisition of six oil and gas licences in the Taranaki basin onshore New Zealand from Tamarind Resources.

Privately held Matahio will operate four of the blocks with 100% equity and hold 70% interests in the other two tracts — three of the assets are currently producing.

The NZ deal adds 2 million barrels of oil equivalent to Matahio’s proven and probable reserves. The company highlighted the acquisition of the producing Cheal and Sidewinder fields that currently deliver about 1400 barrels of oil equivalent per day net and are expected to generate positive cash flow until 2030.

The transaction also includes full technical and operational teams, based in New Plymouth, which have a track record in delivering strong health, safety and environment and production performance.

Most notably, recent production optimisation efforts have resulted in production rates returning to 2015 levels without drilling any new wells, Matahio claimed.

Meanwhile, the operator has crafted a multi-year development programme consisting of infill and step-out drilling as well as the appraisal of newer fields in the Puka licence to be tied back to existing operated infrastructure.

This organic growth programme is targeting an additional 3.8 million boe and, if successful, will ensure more than 100% replacement of reserves across Matahio’s portfolio. In tandem with this transaction, the first Cheal infill well as part of this programme is currently being completed.

Matahio chief executive Wai-Lid Wong said: “We are excited to progress the multi-dimensional plans we have laid out for this portfolio of assets in New Zealand.

“First and foremost, the execution of an expansive production optimisation and development programme, which has already borne fruit, will continue to exhibit Matahio’s mature field management credentials. This includes maintaining the portfolio’s opex per barrel at levels lower than $40 per barrel.

“Second, the proving-up of prospects in the Puka licence area, and utilising existing infrastructure for its development, will enhance the longevity of our New Zealand business.”

Matahio has also formulated a bottom-up greenhouse gas reduction plan that forecasts its New Zealand business to be net zero by 2030. A significant component of this plan is a deep decarbonisation of the operation, for which a number of projects have been initiated in 2023, targeting an immediate impact on its carbon footprint in the country.

“We are also keen to continue discussions with our industry peers, investors, government and other key stakeholders to ensure that the oil and gas industry is effectively participating in an orderly energy transition in New Zealand, which supports the country achieving its overall net-zero ambitions,” Wong added.

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