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New Zealand experienced a marked increase in activity. Concession holdings went up 205% onshore to 62,429 km2, and 31% offshore to 215,439 km2. Seismic coverage more than doubled both onshore and offshore, to 1,075 and 15,321 line-km, respectively. Several new targets have been delineated offshore, and 2 drillships are scheduled to arrive in the country and start drilling during 1983. Onshore, the total depth drilled more than doubled to 18,993 m. Drilling was concentrated in the recently discovered McKee field, where 2 additional oil producers were completed, and on 3 other structures nearby, where 1 well tested gas and condensate. Production of gas and condensate from the Kapuni and Maui fields combined was 2,177.122 × 106 m3 UP> (up 69.3%) and 865,454 m3 (up 57.3%), respectively. Expansion of the only refinery in New Zealand and the realization of large petrochemical projects using natural gas are well under way. These projects include an ammonia-urea plant, which was completed by year end, a methanol plant, and a methanol-to-synthetic petrol plant now under construction.
Fiji also saw increased exploration activity. There were no changes in the license holdings, but marine and land seismic surveys covered 242.58 and 42.04 line-km, respectively. Four wells were drilled to a total depth of 5,697 m. All were dry.
Papua New Guinea had active exploration carried out in nearly all of its 11 Petroleum Prospecting Licenses. A total of 2,750 line-km of marine seismic data was acquired, whereas onshore 654 line-km were obtained. The appraisal well, Barikewa-2, was drilled to a total depth of 1,820 m, and plugged and abandoned. In the western Highlands, 2 wildcat wells were drilled: Lavani-1, which was dry, plugged, and abandoned, and Juha-1, which was drilling ahead at 2,625 m at year end. Total depth drilled was 7,433 m. In the Gulf of Papua, an appraisal well, Pasca A3, was spudded in January 1983. A reservoir engineering study of the Pasca field, which is being considered for commercial development, has been completed for the Papua New Guinea government.
No exploration activities took place in Tonga, Vanuatu, or the Solomon Islands, but a CCOP/SOPAC-sponsored project, funded by a tripartite agreement between the governments of Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, did comprehensive geophysical studies in some offshore areas of these 3 countries.
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