OMV has started a year-long offshore drilling programme in New Zealand with operations under way at the Maui gas field.

The jack-up drilling rig Valaris 249, an LT Super Gorilla design rig built in 2002, arrived in New Zealand last month from Scotland.

Operations are centered on the Maui B platform, where existing, no longer producing, wells will be used to access additional gas, said an OMV spokesperson.

OMV has contracted the rig until March 2023 and has initially committed to a five-well programme at Maui B with first production expected later this year.