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


Oil and gas block offer results due next Tuesday

Oil and gas block offer results due next Tuesday

Dec. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Energy Minister Phil Heatley is set to announce the results of this year's block offer for oil and gas exploration permits on Tuesday next week, and government officials are confident more activity will follow in the coming years.

General manager of New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals David Binnie told Parliament's commerce committee the 2012 'block offer' will be announced next week, and that officials are halfway through the 2013 tender. Next week's announcement will canvas blocks covering approximately 40,285 square kilometres of offshore seabed and approximately 5,704 square kilometres of land in Waikato, Taranaki, Tasman, the West Coast and Southland.

"We're hopeful … the results of that will mean more activity for many companies into the next five years of that exploration programme," Binnie said. "Onshore we've made significant progress, in my personal view in Taranaki and on the East Coast. If you look forward, the East Coast is the most prospective on shore."

Heatley's pending announcement comes after Brazilian oil company Petrobras this week handed back exploration licences for deep sea oil and gas prospects after undertaking initial seismic surveys in the lightly explored Raukumara Basin, off East Cape.

The 2013 block offer is seeking expressions of interest from oil and gas explorers for acreage in five offshore areas: the Taranaki, Northland, Reinga, Canterbury and Great South Basins.

Appearing as part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's annual review, Binnie talked down a suggestion that exploration companies may be wary of New Zealand given hold-ups in regulations around the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Companies are well aware of where the legislation is sitting at the moment," he said. "The first deep water well from the current block offer will be three, four years ahead of us and I'm pretty confident the legislation will be in place by then."

A Ministry for the Environment spokesperson told BusinessDesk an exposure draft of proposed EEZ regulations is due to be published in mid-2013, with final decisions on the regulations to follow a public submissions process.

Elsewhere at Parliament, the chief executive of the Environmental Protection Authority, Rob Forlong, told the local government and environment select committee that responsibility for compliance and monitoring of the new EEZ regime was under discussion among various government agencies at present.

Answering questions from Green Party MP Eugenie Sage, Forlong said the Ministry for Primary Industries, the petroleum and labour standards arms of the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, and Maritime New Zealand were involved in the discussions.

Asked whether the EPA would have in-house expertise in oil well drilling, Forlong said that would be among issues discussed at a board workshop in February.

"We are talking to other agencies because it may be that between us we have enough critical mass, in which we case we might share (resources)," he said.

Sage also asked whether the EPA was sufficiently well-funded to undertake compliance and monitoring in the EEZ, and whether it faced potential shortfalls created by the fact that even if it could recover costs from applicants for activity in the EEZ, "individual parties can't be asked to fund generic monitoring."

Forlong said the EPA hoped to be able to charge for cost recovery, but that until the EEZ regulations were finalised, he could not judge whether current funding was sufficient to meet its monitoring and compliance obligations.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news