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Tax breaks should be extended to oil exploration

Thursday, 23 September, 2004

Copeland: Tax breaks should be extended to oil exploration

Government tax breaks for gas exploration announced this morning should be extended to oil exploration, United Future energy and revenue spokesman, Gordon Copeland, says.

"When it comes to exploration, nothing much separates oil and gas anyway. Normally if you discover gas, you discover oil and vice versa.

"The Government has placed emphasis on gas with electricity generation in mind as the Maui field comes to an end.

"However, self-sufficiency in oil should also be a strategic objective for New Zealand and is arguably more important than gas.

"We are at the end of the world's oil supply chain and exposed to disruption in a world which becomes riskier by the day because of terrorist activity. The price of oil is on the way up and this will likely be its long-term trend.

"Australia, recognising these realities, has put in place incentives to encourage oil exploration even though that nation is already 70% self-sufficient," Mr Copeland said.

"New Zealand's self-sufficiency by contrast is just 20% so we should do all possible to increase incentives for oil exploration.

"Longer term, our goal should be nothing less than complete self-sufficiency."


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