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Labour fails to secure oil, gas exploration bids

Phil Heatley
National Party Associate Energy Spokesman

22 March 2006

Labour fails to secure oil, gas exploration bids

National’s Associate Energy spokesman, Phil Heatley, says the Government must move quickly to remove impediments to domestic oil and gas exploration before the energy crisis gets even more dire.

“The Associate Energy Minister, Harry Duynhoven, is overseeing a bleak rundown of exploration enthusiasm, with only two of five Northland blocks, and none of three deep-sea Taranaki blocks that were recently on offer, taken up,” says Mr Heatley.

“In Parliament today, Mr Duynhoven all but confirmed that Crown Minerals has once again failed to secure bids for oil and gas exploration block offers off the east coast of the North Island and in inshore Taranaki.

“While it’s widely accepted that New Zealand has great potential for oil and gas production, most areas remain under-explored due to excessive red tape and extreme price barriers.

“With Maui running out and no other significant prospects for oil or gas production, we are in very dangerous territory.

“The Labour Government should be doing all it can to make exploration an attractive venture.

“At the very least, changes to the royalty and tax burden on explorers has merit.

“Such relief would mean that projects currently deemed too risky would become viable. Valuable resources would not be left in the ground and future energy supplies would be much more secure,”says Mr Heatley.

ENDS

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