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Exploration activity increases in Canterbury Basin

Hon Harry Duynhoven
Associate Minister of Energy

8 November 2006
Media statement

Exploration activity increases in Canterbury Basin

Associate Energy Minister Harry Duynhoven today announced that Origin Energy has been awarded a large petroleum exploration permit in the offshore Canterbury Basin.

The 38,260 square kilometre permit is located in the outer Canterbury Basin and is adjacent to Origin's other exploration permit in the Basin.

“Increased investment by Origin and other companies in the Canterbury basin confirms that exploration companies continue to see opportunities for investment in oil and gas exploration beyond the Taranaki Basin,” Harry Duynhoven said.

Origin Energy is an Australian based company and holds a 51 per cent interest in Contact Energy, New Zealand's largest publicly listed energy company.

Aside from the two exploration permits that Origin now holds in the Canterbury Basin, the company also holds a 50 per cent interest in the Kupe project as well as interests in four other exploration permits in the Taranaki Basin.

Harry Duynhoven said that the proposed work programme will see Origin acquire a minimum of 2,000 km of 2D seismic data within three years, and drill an exploration well within four years.

“Today's announcement, and the continued high level of interest in the Great South Basin, reflect the current pace and high level of confidence shown by exploration companies in New Zealand,” Harry Duynhoven said.

Further information on the permit, including location maps, can be obtained from the Crown Minerals website: www.crownminerals.govt.nz


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