Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Brazilian oil giant Petrobas dumps NZ exploration permits

Brazilian oil giant Petrobas dumps NZ exploration permits

Dec. 4 (BusinessDesk) - Brazilian oil company Petrobras is to hand back exploration licences it holds for deep sea oil and gas prospects in the Raukumara Basin, off East Cape, in what appears a reaction to a string of difficulties which have seen the global scale oil major report losses for the first time in 13 years.

Prime Minister John Key told reporters for the New Zealand Herald that the decision was "not a reflection on the capacity to undertake deep-sea drilling or the prospect of activity of that area."

The Raukumara Basin lies in very deep water off the east coast of the North Island and has barely been explored. Petrobras contracted a seismic survey ship to undertake initial surveys of parts of the basin early last year, where it encountered stiff opposition from a protest flotilla organised by Greenpeace and a local Maori tribe, Te Whanau a Apanui.

The New Zealand Navy was despatched to ensure the seismic survey could continue.

Petrobras has had what the Financial Times newspaper described early last month as an "annus horribilis", reporting its first quarterly loss in 13 years in the second quarter, disappointing investors in the third quarter, and facing a 40 percent plunge in its share price over the year.

Among its difficulties have been falling production, foreign currency losses caused by the need to import fuel owing to a lack of refining capacity in Brazil, government interference, and most recently an order to pay back taxes of US$2.4 billion dating back a decade, relating to offshore activities.

Key said he understood Petrobras was "going through a bit of a regrouping phase and they're stepping back from what they're doing. I don't think it has got anything to do with the capacity to do the mining activity they were looking at undertaking.'

``I think it's the context of their local and domestic issues they're dealing with" and should not be seen as a blow to the government's agenda for accelerating economic growth through oil and gas discoveries.

``I wouldn't really put it in those terms. That's a long-term project and opportunity out there. There are plenty of other people looking at lots of other options in the Canterbury Basin and the likes."

Key did not believe the court challenge from Greenpeace or Te Whanau a Apanui played any role in the decision.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Oceans: NOAA Declares Third Ever Global Coral Bleaching Event

As record ocean temperatures cause widespread coral bleaching across Hawaii, NOAA scientists confirm the same stressful conditions are expanding to the Caribbean and may last into the new year, prompting the declaration of the third global coral bleaching event ever on record. More>>

Scoop Business: A Decade Of Government Pre-Seed Investment

More publicly-funded science is being commercialised after a decade of government ‘pre-see’d investment, according to an independent review. More>>


Solid Energy: Plan To Shut Unprofitable Huntly East Mine

Solid Energy, the state-owned coal miner in voluntary administration, plans to shut down its unprofitable Huntly East mine and lay off 65 staff after deciding the site stands "no chance whatsoever" of finding a buyer. More>>


E Tū: Merger Creates NZ's Biggest Private Sector Union

E tū has been created by the merger of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Service and Food Workers’ Union. It represents more than 50,000 working New Zealanders in industries as diverse as aviation, construction, journalism, food manufacturing, mining and cleaning. More>>


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news