Buller Block: PEP 50279
Comet Ridge’s very large Petroleum Exploration
Permit PEP 50279 is located in the West Coast coal region
of New Zealand’s South Island, covering an area
of 4,802 km2. PEP 50279 was awarded in 2008, and Comet
Ridge has a 100% interest in the permit. The permit
is located north east of the town of Greymouth and its
nearby coal mines, and is immediately north of Comet
Ridge’s 170 km2 Mining Permit PMP 50100.
Comet Ridge is currently focusing on coal seam gas exploration
in PEP 50279 in the following areas:
- Paparoa and Brunner coals near the boundary with
PMP 50100 in the south west;
- Brunner coal measures near Reefton in the centre
of the permit.
The recent strategic expansion of the PEP 50279 acreage
near Runanga, announced in July 2011, allows Comet Ridge
to focus on fully appraising the coal measures across
PMP 50100 and southern PEP 50279 as a single resource.
The gassy Paparoa coal measures have been identified
in the south west corner of PEP 50279, and extend across
most of PMP 50100 to the south. The Paparoa coals underlie
the Brunner coal measures, both of which are mined in
a number of places on the Westcoast. Several coal mines
are located in the north of PMP 50100 and the south
of PEP 50279, with coal mining activities within the
extension area to the PEP 50279 exploration permit being
To the north east, the Reefton area has hosted many
open cut and underground coal mines over the past century,
which targeted the Brunner coal measures.
Four CSG wells have been drilled in the Reefton area.
Three wells were drilled in 2004, RSE-1, RSE-2 and Reef-2,
targeting the Brunner coal measures at depth of less
than 250m. All three wells intersected 15m of coal or
greater and were plugged and abandoned.
The most recent well was Painkiller Creek-1, drilled
by Comet Ridge in March 2009. This was the first exploration
well drilled by Comet Ridge in PEP 50279. This well
was drilled down-dip from the Reefton coalfields, but
the Brunner coal measures in this area were not developed.
The challenges associated with delineating the extent
of the many coal measures in New Zealand has lead Comet
Ridge to adopt airborne survey technology to assist
in identifying exploration targets. In early 2010, an
Airborne Magnetic survey was conducted and then in early
2011 an Airborne Gravity Gradiometry (AGG) survey was
acquired over parts of PEP 50279, including the extension
area, and also over PMP 50100.
The AGG survey system was developed in the coal industry
to discover new coal deposits and to help outline known
coal resources with greater accuracy.
External consultant, FrOGTech is combining the data
acquired in the AGG survey, the 2010 Airborne Magnetic,
Gradiometric and Radiometric survey, and the extensive
well data (coal mining and CSG) in the area to generate
detailed geological mapping of the area. In addition,
NSAI are also assessing the CSG resources across PMP
50100 and the southern margins of PEP 50279.
Comet Ridge intends to combine the insights derived
from both the FrOGTech and NSAI studies to develop the
optimal appraisal plan for the area. These studies will
provide valuable information on the location of the
highest value CSG targets within Comet Ridge’s
Comet Ridge is planning a well drilling programme on
the West Coast in late 2011 or early 2012.