Two onshore petroleum exploration permits granted
Two onshore petroleum exploration permits have been today granted for Block Offer 2019.
The successful bidders are Greymouth Gas Turangi Limited (Greymouth) and Riverside Energy Limited (Riverside).
Greymouth was granted Petroleum Exploration Permit 60749 for an area covering 52km2, south-east of New Plymouth in onshore Taranaki.
Riverside was granted Petroleum Exploration Permit 60742 for an area covering 53km2, east of Eltham, in onshore Taranaki.
Both permits have been granted for a period of 10 years with a commencement date of 1 July 2021 and are subject to work programme conditions.
Greymouth Gas Turangi Limited is owned by Greymouth Petroleum Mining Group Limited. The Greymouth group of companies has been operating in New Zealand since 2000, and currently operate five petroleum mining permits in Taranaki.
Riverside is a New Zealand company with US-based shareholders. This is the first permit it has been granted in New Zealand.
A number of bids were submitted for Block Offer 2019 and all underwent a robust and thorough evaluation by New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals, which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
The release area for Block Offer 2019 was restricted to the onshore Taranaki region, covering 2,451km2. It was launched, following nominations of acreage by industry and consultation with iwi and hapū, on 27 July 2020 and closed on 4 November 2020.
In November 2018, the Crown Minerals Act was amended to give effect to the Government’s announcement that it would no longer grant offshore petroleum exploration permits and would restrict future block offers to the onshore Taranaki region.
The change to legislation also prohibits access to conservation land, as part of the Block Offer process, except for minimum impact activities.
The permits do not include any land listed in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act (including national parks, nature reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries), World Heritage sites, or areas identified in section 3.1 of the Petroleum Programme as areas of importance to Māori (such as Mount Taranaki and the Pouakai, Pukeiti and Kaitake Ranges). Parihaka Pā was also excluded from the release area along with land that is being investigated by the New Plymouth District Council and Taranaki iwi regarding possible wāhi tapu sites.
Since Block Offer 2018 new petroleum exploration permits have also been granted subject to a new engagement condition that explicitly requires permit holders to engage with iwi on an ongoing basis.