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10/8/2018 — Oil and Gas
Puka field on the outer?
By Ross Louthean

The latest investor presentation released by Melbana Energy Ltd (ASX: MAY) yesterday indicates that the company has downgraded its interest in the Puka oil and gas field in the onshore Taranaki.

In recent statements Melbana has said it was reviewing its 30% interest and in this latest report it was at the back of the presentation as a “non-core/legacy” asset.

Leading up to the drilling of the Pukatea-1 exploration well early this year, the NZ asset was one of the highlights. The well produced a significant gas flow and prompted the company and project operator TAG Oil Ltd (TSX: TAO) to indicate the gas encounter in Pukatea may help the joint venture reopen the Puka field.

The latest report did say however that the field was a likely future oil producer.

Melbana’s ardour may have been dented by the decisions of the Ardern Coalition Government to ban new offshore petroleum leases and, while onshore developments would remain untouched, the fervour of the anti-fossil fuel brigade in NZ and the Greens as part of Government has caused concern.

Melbana may well be looking to sell its equity to TAG.

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