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Looming crisis calls for action on Kupe gas

Looming crisis calls for action on Kupe gas

National is calling on the Government to take action over the development of the Kupe gas field.

"New Zealand is facing an energy crisis and new generation proposals by Contact Energy and Genesis are being mothballed because of difficulties over long-term gas contracts," says National's Energy spokesman, Gerry Brownlee.

Speaking to the Energy Trust of New Zealand Conference this week, Mr Brownlee said that while the gas exploration industry should clearly be in the hands of the private sector, the Government has to take some action to develop the Kupe field which it owns.

"The best years for gas exploration in New Zealand were when the private sector was most active, but having the infrastructure for a reliable source of energy from gas puts the onus on the Government to, at this time, do something.

"National says the Government should renegotiate the statement of corporate intent with all state owned generators and require them, jointly or in public-private partnership, to develop the Kupe field which is 70 per cent owned by Genesis.

"All licences to prospect for gas are issued on a 'use it or lose it' basis. Kupe is part owned by the Government so it should develop it.

"While development of Kupe will set a higher price for gas, this doesn't have to convert to higher prices for the end user. If gas price is the problem, this could well encourage development of other fields," says Mr Brownlee.

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