Australian oil and gas company Beach Energy has completed work on the Kupe compression project in New Zealand, which will allow for the gas plant, which had seen declining production in recent years, to produce at full rate from the Kupe offshore gas field.

Both Beach Energy and its partner NZOG said Thursday that a new compressor at the Kupe plant had been successfully installed and commissioned the new compressor at the Kupe plant and it is now available for full operation.

The completion of this project will reinstate the ability of Kupe to produce at a plateau rate of 77TJ/d for a sustained period, NZOG said. According to Beach, at full capacity, Kupe can supply 15% of New Zealand’s natural gas demand. The plant produces gas from the Kupe gas field located in New Zealand’s Taranaki Basin.

Andrew Jefferies CEO of New Zealand Oil & Gas said: “This compressor will allow us to suck harder on the straw and extract further volumes from the Kupe Gas Field bringing us back up to plateau rates at a time the country clearly needs it.”

“Well done to Kupe Operator Beach Energy and all those amazing folks from Taranaki and around New Zealand who have worked so hard to bring this project to fruition. New Zealand needs this gas for industry, heating homes, barbequing sausages, and keeping the lights on when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.”

Beach Energy said the $72 million Kupe Compression Project was delivered safely and within budget.  Credit: Beach Energy

“The compressor increases production by reducing the back pressure on the wells, extending the production plateau. While some delays were experienced due to COVID-19 supply chain issues, the project has been delivered within budget, and most importantly, with no lost time injuries from the 170,000 person-hours onsite,” Beach Energy said.

Beach Energy Managing Director Matt Kay said: “The successful delivery of this project is good news as it keeps more natural gas flowing into New Zealand homes and businesses for many years to come.”

Beach said that preparation work for a potential Kupe East development well within the Kupe field is expected to start during FY22. Beach says this could lead to the drilling of a potential development well in FY23, subject to joint venture and regulatory approvals.

As mentioned above, Beach is the operator of the Kupe Natural Gas Processing Plant which produces gas from the Kupe Field, located about 30 kilometers off the New Zealand North Island. Beach’s Kupe project consists of three production wells up to 3.8 kilometers in depth as well as the Kupe unmanned offshore platform.

A 30-kilometer subsea pipeline brings raw natural gas and liquids from the platform to shore, where it is processed at the onshore production station.

Once processed, an 11.7-kilometer sales gas pipeline takes natural gas from the production station to Kapuni where it is injected into the North Island transmission network.

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