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

 

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Embrace Falling Home Affordability, Says NZIER

Despair over the inability to afford a house is misplaced and should be embraced as an opportunity to invest in more wealth-creating activity, says the principal economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Shamubeel Eaqub. More>>

Productivity Commission: NZ Regulation Not Keeping Pace

New Zealand regulators often have to work with out-of-date legislation, quality checks are under strain, and regulatory workers need better training and development. More>>

ALSO:

Callaghan Innovation: Investment To Help Deepen Innovation Reporting

Callaghan Innovation, the government’s high tech HQ for Kiwi business, is to help deepen New Zealand media coverage of the commercialisation of innovation through an arms-length partnership with independent business news service BusinessDesk. More>>

ALSO:

Tax Credits, Grants: Greens $1Bn R&D Plan

In the Party’s headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more innovative economy which has as its centrepiece an additional $1 billion of government investment in research and development (R&D) above current spend, including tax breaks for business. More>>

ALSO:

Inflation: CPI Increases 0.3 Percent In June Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the June 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows rises of 0.3 percent the March quarter and 0.1 percent in the December 2013 quarter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news