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

 


Government opens eight areas for oil and gas exploration

Government opens eight areas for oil and gas exploration

By Pattrick Smellie

April 2 (BusinessDesk) – The New Zealand government has opened eight new areas for oil and gas exploration in its 2014 Block Offer, unveiled at a petroleum conference in Wellington by Energy Minister Simon Bridges.

A total of 405,000 square kilometres of exploration acreage is on offer and includes formally opening the previously unidentified New Caledonia Basin for bids, where Shell New Zealand has already been awarded an exploration licence out of sequence with the block offer system.

“The three onshore and five offshore release areas on offer make up a tender that ranges from smaller appraisal blocks in well-explored areas containing previously drilled wells, through to large blocks with running room in frontier regions where little to no exploration has taken place,” said Bridges.

The only completely new areas to be offered are onshore on the West Coast of the South Island, covering a total area of 6,752.2 square kilometres, covering territory in the northern portion of the West Coast and stretching through to behind Nelson.

Further territory is being opened up both onshore and offshore in the heavily explored and producing Taranaki Basin, and new acreage is being offered on the North Island’s East Coast, where preliminary exploration has sparked protest, but where commercially attractive shale oil and gas deposits are believed to exist.

Five offshore release areas in the Reinga-Northland, Taranaki, New Caledonia, Pegasus-East Coast, and Great South-Canterbury Basins are also being offered for bids which close on Sept. 25, five days after the general election.

Shell is planning wells in the Great South Basin in the 2014/15 summer drilling season.

The onshore Taranaki blocks include areas near the producing Kapuni, Tariki-Ahuroa, and McKee fields, with bids for areas of up to 250 square kilometres on offer. Other onshore areas allow bids for blocks of up to 1,000 square kilometres, reflecting their immature status.

The block offer announcements coincide with Monday’s release from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, which further confirms the scientific evidence that human-induced climate change, much of it related to the consumption of fossil fuels, is now unavoidable and that measures to adapt to its onset will be needed, as well as to reduce its impact.

Bridges acknowledged the issue, saying “we need to reduce carbon emissions from our energy use and respond to climate change” but that “fossil fuels will remain an important part of the mix” for at least another two decades or more.

“Oil and gas will continue to play a key role in ensuring our energy supply is reliable and affordable,” Bridges said, describing the government’s policy as “mixed and balanced.”

“It’s not exclusively renewable or non-renewable. It’s both,” Bridges said.

Last year’s block offer saw two new global oil industry players, Norway’s Statol and Australia’s Woodside Petroleum, take exploration acreage for the first time, with Statol taking acreage in the lightly explored Northland-Reinga Basin.

The government had hoped that another recent entrant, Texan explorer Anadarko, might find evidence of oil and gas in two deep-sea exploration wells drilled over the summer.

However, Anadarko’s offshore Taranaki well was plugged and abandoned, and it elected not to drill a possible second well after drilling in the little-explored Canterbury Basin. Other hoped-for commercial finds from the summer drilling programme, in areas where oil and gas has already been discovered, have also delivered disappointing results.

Bridges announced the government is opening industry nominations for the 2015 block offer, allowing explorers to identify where they believe effort would be worthwhile.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Commerce: Supermarket Inquiry Finds No Breaches By Countdown

The Commerce Commission inquiry into anti-competitive behaviour by Countdown supermarkets, alleged by former Labour Party MP Shane Jones, has found nothing to warrant prosecution, although it warns supermarkets to take care in the way they communicate... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Flags ‘Challenge’ To Budget Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning next month’s half yearly fiscal and economic update from the Treasury may not forecast a budget surplus, saying that returning the government’s accounts to surplus in 2015 will be “a challenge”, given the decline in commodity prices and weak global inflation. More>>

ALSO:

March 2015: Netflix To Launch In Australia And New Zealand

World’s Leading Internet Television Network to Offer Original Series, Movies, Documentaries, Stand-Up Comedy Specials and TV Shows for Low Monthly Price More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese (Is Up): Dairy Product Prices Fall To Five-Year Low

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction to the lowest level in more than five years, led by declines in rennet casein and skim milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Australians Scoring Trade Points Against Us With The Chinese

It hasn’t been a great year for Trade Minister Tim Groser... To top it off, Australia has just signed a FTA with China that has far better provisions on dairy exports than what New Zealand currently enjoys in our own FTA with China. More>>

ALSO:

Iwi & Local Consultation: Oil And Gas Block Offer 2015 Begins

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges today announced the start of the Block Offer 2015 process for awarding oil and gas exploration permits. More>>

Industrial Action: Stats NZ Throwing Public Money Away Duplicating Data

The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ are throwing money away by collecting the same data twice for official statistics such as the Consumer Price Index... As part of the ongoing industrial action, field interviewers who are PSA members are continuing to collect data, but are not sending it through to Statistics NZ. More>>

ALSO:

Other Stats:

Space: Rosetta's 'Philae' Makes Historic First Landing On A Comet

After more than a decade traveling through space, a robotic lander built by the European Space Agency has made the first-ever soft landing of a spacecraft on a comet. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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