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21 New Oil Exploration Permits Issued In Taranaki

9 August, 2002

Boost For New Zealand Oil Exploration With 21 New Permits Issued In Taranaki

Twenty-one new petroleum exploration permits for the onshore and offshore Taranaki Basin will boost New Zealand’s oil exploration effort, said Associate Minister of Energy Paul Swain today.

The new permits were issued following a competitive bidding round where 41 bids were received for the 26 blocks on offer, indicating a strong interest in New Zealand oil and gas prospects.

The 21 permits went to 19 different companies, of which four were local companies. Seven of the remaining companies are from the United States, six are from Australia and three are from Europe.

“The latest round will lead to a more intensive exploration effort in Taranaki over the next few years,” said Mr Swain. “With more companies exploring over generally smaller permit areas than issued in the past, it is hoped that this will lead to more oil and gas being found.”

As part of their bids petroleum exploration companies were required to submit programmes of exploration work in each permit area. The company, or group of companies, with the most intensive exploration programme were most likely to win the exploration permit.

“I am very pleased so many companies have bid for these Taranaki permits”, said Mr Swain. “It shows the keen interest there is in New Zealand as a place to explore for oil and gas.”

Petroleum exploration permits awarded
in 2002 Taranaki permit round

Block Number Petroleum Exploration Permit No. Successful Applicant
A 38480 Indo-Pacific Energy (NZ) Limited
D 38481 Shell Exploration NZ Limited
OMV Australia Pty Limited
Todd Petroleum Mining Company Limited
E 38482 Shell Exploration NZ Limited
OMV Australia Pty Limited
Todd Petroleum Mining Company Limited
Block Number Petroleum Exploration Permit Number Successful Applicant
G 38743 Discovery Geo (Australia) Corporation
Manti Resources Incorporated
M.M. Cone Incorporated
I 38744 Preussag Energie GmbH
Origin Energy Resources (NZ) Limited
J 38745 Bridge Petroleum Limited
K 38746 Indo-Pacific Energy (NZ) Limited
Tap Oil Limited
Australian Worldwide Exploration Limited
Magellan Petroleum Australia Limited
L 38747 Greymouth Petroleum Holdings Company
M 38748 Indo-Pacific Energy (NZ) Limited
Tap Oil Limited
Magellan Petroleum Australia Limited
N 38749 Geosphere Exploration Limited
Aspect Energy LLC
O 38750 Geosphere Exploration Limited
Aspect Energy LLC
P 38751 Bridge Petroleum Limited
Q 38752 Bridge Petroleum Limited
S 38753 Indo-Pacific Energy (NZ) Limited
Tap Oil Limited
Magellan Petroleum Australia Limited
T 38754 Petroleum Resources Limited (New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd)
U 38755 Petroleum Resources Limited (New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd)
V 38756 Swift Energy New Zealand Limited
W 38757 Re-Source Exploration Limited
X 38758 Re-Source Exploration Limited
Y 38759 Swift Energy New Zealand Limited
Z 38760 Todd Petroleum Mining Company Limited

Note: Blocks B, C, F, H and R were not allocated.

See attached permit blocks map below:

Map of new permit blocks

Background on 2002 Taranaki permit round

Twenty-one permits have been awarded in the Taranaki Basin 2002 petroleum exploration permitting round announced today. Eighteen of these permits are in the onshore area and three offshore. Nineteen companies have obtained interests in the permits.

In the offshore area, two of the largest permits were awarded to the Shell-OMV and Todd partnership, a grouping which also holds the Maari offshore prospect.

The Wellington-based explorer Indo-Pacific Energy (NZ) Ltd has been allocated its first offshore permit in New Zealand, to the north-east of the Pohokura gas-condensate field.

Two Australian-based companies Tap Oil Ltd and Magellan Petroleum Australia Ltd have joined Indo-Pacific Energy in three new onshore exploration permits. Indo-Pacific now holds an interest in eight Taranaki Basin exploration permits plus an interest in the Ngatoro oil field. Tap now has an interest in six of the onshore permits with Indo-Pacific, following Tap’s recent announcement that it had acquired interests in three onshore Taranaki permits.

Two other new companies on the New Zealand exploration scene, which have been awarded permits, are Aspect Energy LLC and Bridge Petroleum Ltd.

Aspect Energy, is a Denver-based exploration and production with a successful track record in the onshore Gulf Coast area of the US. Aspect is partnering Lower Hutt-based explorer GeoSphere Exploration Ltd in two south Taranaki permits.

Bridge Petroleum Ltd, which has been awarded three onshore permits, is a new New Zealand-based company.

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