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

 

Scoop Business: Equity Crowd Funding Carries Risks, High Failure Rate

Equity crowd funding, which became legal in New Zealand this month, comes with a high risk of failure based on figures showing existing forays into social capital have a success rate of less than 50 percent, one new entrant says. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Migration Rises To 11-Year High In March

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures. More>>

ALSO:

Hugh Pavletich: New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “ 12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster ”, seems to have created quite a stir, creating extensive media coverage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Thursday Market Close: Genesis Debut Sparks Energy Rally

New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains. More>>

ALSO:

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news