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Reports of a massive oil discovery overstated

Press release from the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ)

Reports of a massive oil discovery in the East Coast of the North Island are misleading, PEPANZ executive officer John Pfahlert said today.

Mr Pfahlert was responding to news stories which said 12.6 billion barrels of oil had been found at a prospect owned by Trans-Orient Petroleum Ltd in the East Coast Basin.

"The company's assessment of the prospect is an estimate of potential, not a discovery of oil," he said.

"While there is potential, there is no guarantee that volume of oil is underground. The only way of confirming there is oil is to drill a well. No wells have been drilled since 2001."

Mr Pfahlert said seismic surveying of the permits held by the Canadian oil explorer had identified geological conditions which could indicate the presence of oil but stressed in exploration terms this was "no sure thing".

"It is completely hypothetical. This is an assessment of potential not a discovery. It could have been more accurately reported."


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