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Swain emphasises the positive in meeting with OPEC

Tuesday, 26 February 2002 Media Statement

Swain emphasises the positive in meeting with OPEC Secretary General

Associate Energy Minister Paul Swain has welcomed OPEC Secretary General Dr Ali Rodriguez-Araque to New Zealand for the New Zealand Petroleum Conference this week.

Paul Swain met with Dr Rodriguez-Araque in Auckland last night. He said it’s a great honour to have the OPEC Secretary General in New Zealand and he looked forward to strong relations with OPEC countries.

In his address to the Petroleum Conference Paul Swain said the exploration future looked bright for New Zealand.

“I am particularly excited by petroleum exploration developments in Taranaki,” Paul Swain said, “we have come on in leaps and bounds in the two years since I last addressed this conference in Christchurch.

“At the 2000 conference I congratulated Swift Energy, Marabella Enterprises and Antrim Oil and Gas on the potential of the Rimu discovery. Now just two years later, I have granted a mining permit over Rimu and this discovery is about to come on stream. Swift, via a recent asset purchase, has gone from being a new entrant in New Zealand to a company with significant producing assets.

“And in 2000 I talked about the exciting new Pohokura discovery, today we are hearing about development options costing up to $900 million with the first gas expected ashore in January 2005.

“Right now the industry is enjoying remarkable success. The upturn in drilling activity over the last few years has given way to a number of commercial discoveries. When brought into production these latest discoveries will double New Zealand’s remaining reserves of oil and condensate to over 200 million barrels.

“And for the first time New Zealand has ranked in the top 20 most attractive countries for petroleum exploration in the IHS Energy Group’s country survey. Since 1999 New Zealand has jumped 20 places to be 17th out of 103 countries.

“At the conference I touched on two issues of concern to the industry – Kyoto and Oceans Policy.

“Policy development on these issues is being done in extensive consultation with the industry.

“I emphasised to the companies and individuals gathered there that it is imperative that the government receives robust submissions from them so that industry views are taken into account as the government develops policy in this area,” Paul Swain said.

ENDS

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