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

 


US company, Apache, pulls out of East Coast oil hunt

US company, Apache, pulls out of East Coast oil hunt

By Pattrick Smellie

Jan 15 (BusinessDesk) - The government's drive for new investment in oil and gas development in New Zealand has suffered another blow with the departure of Texan mid-sized player Apache Corp from a joint venture with Canadian TAG Oil.
The pair were to explore together for oil and gas on the North Island's East Coast. TAG says it will now go it alone.

The shale gas play is likely to involve the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", to which the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment last year gave a partial clean bill of health, subject to robust regulation.

A groundswell of local opposition to the exploration has been building in the region.

Unlike the Taranaki region on the west coast of the island, the east has no previous experience of oil and gas exploration. TAG is already actively producing oil and gas from numerous onshore wells in Taranaki, has engaged in some fracking to do so, and won more permits in Taranaki in a government tender round late last year.

"We are a large company and we have opportunities all over the world," an Apache senior vice-president for global corporate affairs, Bob Dye, told BusinessDesk from from Houston. "We reviewed where we are at and decided to invest our money elsewhere."

Exploration activity has been progressing, including exploration areas around Gisborne and Hawke's Bay sporting signs saying 'This is Apache Country'.
"We wish TAG all the best," said Dye. "They are a good company to work with but we decided to reallocate."

The Apache website cites no more than a commitment to "evaluate potential well performance for an oil shale project in New Zealand."

The decision, typical of oil companies with global reach and a constantly evolving portfolio of possible investments, follows a decision announced last month by the Brazilian oil and gas giant to relinquish exploration rights in the Raukumara Basin, in deep water off East Cape in the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Painted locally as a victory for opposition organised by Greenpeace and local iwi Te Whanau a Apanui, the Petrobras decision came as the company retrenched across the world to deal with serious commercial problems in its home market.

TAG chief executive Garth Johnson expressed disappointment at Apache's decision.

"Whether we like it or not, this is the nature of the oil and gas exploration business around the world and we will treat it as an opportunity and move on," he said in a statement. "We will continue with the work programme on the East Coast in the same careful, methodical and safe way that we have carried out our work programme in Taranaki."

A much smaller company than Apache, the Canadian explorer has struggled at times to communicate its plans positively, but Dye said TAG was "a good company to work with."

Most of TAG's producing assets are in New Zealand, although its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, which was not trading at the time of the TAG statement in New Zealand.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Economic Update: RBNZ Says Rate Cut Seems Likely

The Reserve Bank will likely cut interest rates further as a persistently strong kiwi dollar makes it difficult for the bank to meet its inflation target, it said. The local currency fell. More>>

ALSO:

House Price Action Plan: RBNZ Signals National Lending Restrictions

The central bank wants to cap bank lending to property investors with a deposit of less than 40 percent at 5 percent and restore the 10 percent limit for owner-occupiers wanting to take out a mortgage with a deposit of less than 20 percent, according to a consultation paper released today. More>>

ALSO:

Sparks Fly: Gordon Campbell On China Steel Dumping Allegations

No doubt, officials on the China desk at MFAT have prided themselves on fashioning a niche position for New Zealand right in between the US and China – and leveraging off both of them! Well, as the Aussies would say, of MFAT: tell ‘em they’re dreaming. More>>

ALSO:

Loan Sharks: Finance Companies Found Guilty Of Breaching Fair Trading Act

Finance companies Budget Loans and Evolution Finance, run by former 1980s corporate high-flyer Allan Hawkins, have been found guilty of 106 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act for misleading 21 borrowers while enforcing loan contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Post Panama Papers: Govt To Adopt Shewan's Foreign Trust Recommendations

The government will adopt all of the recommendations from former PwC chairman John Shewan to increase disclosure and introduce a register for foreign trusts with new legislation to be introduced next month. More>>

ALSO:

The Price Of Cheese: Cheddar At Eight-Year Low

Food prices decreased 0.5 percent in the year to June 2016, influenced by lower grocery food prices (down 2.3 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. Compared with June 2015, cheese prices were down 9.5 percent, fresh milk was down 3.9 percent, and yoghurt was down 9.2 percent. More>>

ALSO:

Financial Advisers: New 'Customer-First' Obligations

Goldsmith plans to do away with the current adviser designations which he says have been "unsatisfactory" in that some advisers are obliged to disclose potential conflicts of interest and act in their customers' best interests, but others are not. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news