TAG Oil Ltd (TSX: TAO) and (OTCQX: TAOIF), reports that the Company has received consent from the Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) and the Stratford District Council (SDC) to drill 18 new wells within TAG's 100%-owned Cheal Oil and Gas Field in New Zealand.
The final decision granting consent in support of TAG's drilling operations was handed down by the SDC-appointed independent commissioner after an affected landowner requested a hearing. The consent grant is subject to an appeal process that must be lodged within 15 days of the consent. TAG plans to resume drilling operations at Cheal on or about December 16, 2011 if an appeal is not filed.
Garth Johnson, CEO of TAG commented. "We are pleased to have received the commissioner's decision consenting to TAG's drilling program. Consent was granted after an independent review of all pertinent information, and therefore I trust that common sense will prevail and an appeal will not be filed. We look forward to drilling the Cheal-B6 well in the next few weeks and getting more than 40 concerned drilling employees back to work."
TAG Oil is also pleased to report an agreement has been concluded that gives the Company exclusive rights to a state-of-art drilling unit. Under the terms of the agreement with Petra Drilling, a 100%-owned subsidiary of New Zealand-based Webster Drilling and Exploration, TAG will provide secured financing for Petra to acquire and deliver to New Zealand the fully automated VR500 rack and pinion, top-drive drill rig. In exchange, TAG has secured a fixed price for future drilling, as well as the first right of refusal on use of the rig until all financing has been repaid.
"This is a great opportunity for TAG Oil and the New Zealand oil and gas industry." Mr. Johnson further commented. "The VR500 rig is safer, more efficient, highly cost-effective and most importantly, it is environmentally friendly with a significantly smaller footprint on the area where drilling operations take place."
About TAG Oil Ltd
TAG Oil Ltd (tagoil.com)is a Canadian-based production and exploration company with operations focused exclusively in New Zealand. With 100% control over all its core assets, including oil and gas production infrastructure, TAG is anticipating 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 1,300 sections of land in the onshore Taranaki and East Coast Basins of New Zealand's North Island.
In the East Coast Basin, TAG is pursuing the major unconventional resource potential estimated in the fractured shale 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 Shale source-rock formation in the successful Williston Basin.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainty affecting the business of TAG. Such statements can generally, but not always, identified by words such as "expects","plans","anticipates","intends","estimates","forecasts","schedules","prepares","potential" and similar expressions, or that events or conditions "will","would","may","could" or "should" occur.
All estimates and statements that describe the Company's objectives, goals, or future plans relating to the seismic, testing and/or drilling programs in the Taranaki and East Coast Basins are forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws and necessarily involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation: risks associated with oil and gas exploration, development, exploitation, production, marketing and transportation, volatility of commodity prices, imprecision of reserve estimates, environmental risks, competition from other producers, and changes in the regulatory and taxation environment. These forward-looking statements are based on certain factors and assumptions, including factors and assumptions regarding the management's views on the oil and gas potential in the permit areas, the success of any operations, and the costs necessary to complete the operations. Actual results may vary materially from the information provided in this release, and there is no representation by TAG that the actual results realized in the future will be the same in whole or in part as those presented herein.
Other factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements related to upcoming operations, production forecast modeling and other items, are also set forth in, filings that TAG and its independent evaluator have made, including TAG's most recently filed reports in Canada under National Instrument 51-101, which can be found under TAG's SEDAR profile at sedar.com.
TAG undertakes no obligation, except as otherwise required by law, to update these forward-looking statements in the event that management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors change.