VANCOUVER, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - TAG Oil Ltd. (TSX: TAO and OTCQX: TAOIF), announces that New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals has awarded TAG Oil Ltd. four onshore exploration blocks offered in New Zealand's 2012 Block Offer. The permits awarded have been assigned the Petroleum Exploration Permit (PEP) numbers 54873, 54876, 54877, 54879 and are all located in the Taranaki Basin, New Zealand.
TAG CEO Garth Johnson commented, "We are very pleased that New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals has awarded TAG this additional acreage that is complimentary to our current Taranaki operations. Our new oil and gas production facility expansion and associated pipelines in this area unencumber all production, transportation and marketing of TAG's oil and gas, including any new discoveries from these newly awarded lands. We are also pleased to have established a joint venture with East West Petroleum according to a joint-bidding agreement entered into by our companies prior to making application in the 2012 Block Offer."
TAG's Infrastructure Expansion On Track
TAG's $30 million infrastructure expansion investment continues to proceed on schedule to meet the March 31, 2013 anticipated completion date. At that time, the Company expects all current shut in discovery wells can be tied into TAG's 100% controlled facility, and daily production will exceed 5,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day as forecasted.
TAG has amended its production timeline for the next two fiscal quarters after making a decision to conserve natural gas and minimize flaring during the Cheal infrastructure upgrade. In this regard, TAG will maintain its production at approximately 2,000 BOE per day until the infrastructure expansion is complete.
"We initially anticipated phasing in shut-in production over the next few fiscal periods; however, after considering a number of factors, the long term benefits of conserving in situ reservoir energy until our gas infrastructure is complete far outweigh the optics of short term production increases," Mr. Johnson commented."Our shut-in wells have all been production tested and we remain confident of meeting or exceeding our production guidance of 5,000 BOE per day. We also look forward to investing the associated cash flow into more exciting high-impact exploration and development drilling opportunities in 2013 across a significant prospect portfolio."
TAG Oil Ltd.
TAG Oil Ltd. (http://www.tagoil.com/) is a Canadian-based production and exploration company with operations focused exclusively in New Zealand. With 100% ownership over all its core assets, including oil and gas production infrastructure, TAG is enjoying substantial oil and gas production and reserve growth through development of several light oil and gas discoveries. TAG is also actively drilling high-impact exploration prospects identified across more than 2,991,063 net acres of land in New Zealand.
In the East Coast Basin, TAG has entered into a farm-out agreement with Apache Corporation to explore and potentially develop the major unconventional resource potential believed to exist in the tight oil source-rock formations that are widespread over the Company's acreage. These oil-rich and naturally fractured formations have many similarities to North America's Bakken source-rock formation in the successful Williston Basin.
SOURCE TAG Oil Ltd.
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