New Zealand’s Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) has said its development plan for the Pohokura gas field could potentially cost up to NZD 900 million. Base-case plans for the development of the field included building three unmanned platforms, more than 20 production wells, an onshore production plan and a 70,000 cubic metre liquified petroleum gas (LPG) facility. The field is located just off the coast of Taranaki, New Zealand’s major oil and gas province. Depending on the number of platforms decided on and the size of the associated production station, the development could cost up to NZD 900 million. With current reserve estimates of 964 billion cubic feet of gas and 53 million million barrels of oil equivalent, the Pohokura field is the country’s largest development prospect. It is 52% owned by Royal Dutch Shell, but Shell must sell down its stake by three percentage points as part of an agreement to buy Fletcher Challenge Energy earlier this year. Appraisal drilling is scheduled for the first half of 2002, with a two-year construction phase expected to begin in 2002. Initial offshore production drilling is set down for 2004, with the first gas expected to be piped in early 2005.