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Kyoto claims another victim in oil industry

Kyoto claims another victim in oil industry

The Government's ideological agenda is set to cost New Zealand a major player in the oil exploration industry, according to National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"The National Party is saddened and disappointed by the decision of Shell Oil to quit oil and gas exploration in New Zealand from next year.

"It will have a decided effect on this country's long term energy security," Mr Brownlee says.

"While it's up to Shell to give the exact reasons for its decision, I'm quite certain it's at least in part due to the heavy regulatory costs involved in exploration in New Zealand.

"There's real uncertainty about the viability of fossil fuels given the Labour Government's premature commitment to Kyoto and the over-all lack of a cohesive coordinated energy policy," says Mr Brownlee.

"Shell has spent more than $17 million on exploration in the past two years, it's decision to pull the plug sends a sobering message to other players in the exploration game.

"With much of our power generated through thermal plants, often fired by gas, the cost of electricity is bound to rise if more viable gas-fields aren't found," Mr Brownlee says.

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