Maari Wellhead Platform

  • Arup’s second self-installing DrillACE platform.
  • Located in 100m water depth in the Taranaki Basin, offshore New Zealand.
  • Production capacity of 35,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
  • One of the highest vertical jacked structures in the world.

The Maari Wellhead Platform, in the Taranaki Basin off the coast of New Zealand, is an oil drilling platform tied to a Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel (FSPO). The platform’s facilities include down hole heating and pumping systems, wellhead control panel, temporary accommodation, helideck and pedestal crane.

The Maari platform represents one of the most technically demanding platform installations in the Australasia region. Situated in 100m of water at the edge of the region of strong westerly winds known as the ‘roaring forties’, the platform is configured to remain serviceable in 20m high waves, wind gust speeds in excess of 160 km/h and moderate seismic conditions.


The most suitable field development solution for the challenging conditions was identified to be a wellhead platform installed over the field and tied to an FSPO. Arup’s self-installing DrillACE concept was chosen as the preferred approach. This concept was successfully implemented in 2004 for the Yolla-A platform in Bass Strait, Australia. The Maari DrillACE has a similar arrangement to the Yolla platform, with the added challenges of deeper water and harsher conditions for installation and operation.

Arup’s DrillACE enabled the client to develop a remote and technically challenging field that would have otherwise been uneconomic. At the end of its useful life at this location, the platform may be moved to another site or returned to shore for dismantling and recycling.

The DrillACE platforms for both the Yolla-A and Maari projects have been developed under a joint collaboration between Arup and Clough.


Project featured in the Design Yearbook 2009
  • Maari Wellhead platform. Credit Geoff Leggatt.

    The Maari Wellhead Platform in the Taranaki Basin.

  • Computer visualisation of Maari platform, above and below surface.Open gallery

    The Maari Wellhead Platform is Arup’s second self-installing DrillACE platform.