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US company extends East Coast exploration efforts

Hon Harry Duynhoven
Associate Minister of Energy

20 October 2006
Media statement

US company extends East Coast exploration efforts

Associate Energy Minister Harry Duynhoven today announced that US company Pogo Producing has been given the go-ahead to extend their current oil and gas exploration permit on the East Coast of the North Island.

Pogo applied for an extension in order to follow leads identified in their existing East Coast permit. The company also has permits in offshore Taranaki as well as extensive interests in North America, Thailand and Vietnam.

"Increased investment by Pogo and other companies confirms that investment in oil and gas exploration in New Zealand remains strong," Harry Duynhoven said.

The extended permit provides for three exploration wells in the first five-year term of the permit, re-processing the existing 3800km of seismic data in the area, acquiring 2,000km of new 2D seismic data and up to $2 million in expenditure on additional geological and geophysical studies.

Harry Duynhoven said that while there are still petroleum basins in New Zealand to be promoted, a number are close to being fully permitted.

"The growing number of new exploration work programmes underway in offshore Taranaki, Northland and East Coast shows that the Labour-led government's focused efforts on stimulating investment in exploration in New Zealand are proving successful," Harry Duynhoven said.

In total, more than 100,000 square kilometres of new exploration acreage has been awarded to companies over the past two years.

"Both current and proposed levels of exploration activity mean that New Zealanders should feel optimistic that any big oil and gas deposits are now much more likely to be found," Harry Duynhoven said.

Mr Duynhoven also noted a high level of interest in the Great South Basin blocks offer, which closes on 31 March 2007.

The 40 blocks on offer are expected to attract strong international interest, including from the world's major oil companies.

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