Minister announces one new oil and gas exploration permit

Publish date: 15 December 2016

The Energy and Resources Minister has announced one new petroleum exploration permit will be granted for Block Offer 2016.

Block Offer 2016 received a number of bids and after a thorough evaluation by New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals (NZP&M), which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, officials have granted one onshore Taranaki permit to Todd Energy.

The permit covers 219 km2 and has a committed work programme that includes seismic acquisition.

The permit does not overlap with Schedule 4 Land or World Heritage sites.

The announcement follows a thorough evaluation of a number of bids based on factors including their technical capability, and the likely ability of operators to meet health, safety and environmental obligations.

The number of bids NZP&M received was lower than in previous years, and in the end NZP&M only granted one permit. It is important that as a regulator NZP&M continues to apply the legislation consistently and that bids meet the requirements of the Crown Minerals Act 1991, despite the downturn.

The global downturn in the petroleum industry that began in late 2014 has impacted on exploration expenditure worldwide. New Zealand's Block Offer 2016 results are consistent with global trends and show that in the current market there is limited appetite for new exploration spending.

Global bid rounds such as New Zealand’s annual Block Offer are continuing despite the downturn.

Current exploration activity is continuing. In 2016, significant investments in seismic acquisition have been made in the New Caledonia Basin and the onshore Taranaki Kapuni 3D seismic survey. The Kapuni survey was the largest onshore 3D survey undertaken in New Zealand.

There are also several offshore 3D seismic surveys occurring over the 2016/17 summer including the largest offshore 3D survey undertaken in New Zealand.

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