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Minister opens Onshore Taranaki Basin Blocks Offer

3 December 2007 Media Statement

Minister opens Onshore Taranaki Basin Blocks Offer

Associate Energy Minister Harry Duynhoven today announced one of the largest onshore blocks offers in recent years, in opening the Onshore Taranaki Basin Blocks offer.

Nine petroleum blocks are being offered and represent a total area of approximately 3,273 square kilometres.

“With oil prices at near record levels it is important that we maximise the potential for new exploration investment.

“A large area has been aggregated in recent years in Taranaki to provide explorers with blocks of material size that contain a broad range of exploration opportunities.

“The size of the blocks and their underlying prospectivity has already attracted interest from a variety of local and overseas exploration companies. Some of these companies bring with them the type of experience required to unlock the deep gas plays which are considered to be under explored,” Mr Duynhoven said.

The blocks offer is being supported by a large and modern technical data package which will be made freely available to explorers from today.

“While the New Zealand Energy Strategy emphasises a renewable energy future, it also recognises that more gas still needs to be found to fuel current thermal baseload and peaking plant for electricity generation, as well as industrial and residential uses.

“The blocks offer will provide significant opportunities to discover and develop new sources of gas for domestic use, as well as oil to assist New Zealand’s energy future and economic growth,” Mr Duynhoven said today.

The bidding round will close on 30 May 2008.

Details of the blocks offer, including location maps, terms and conditions, and free technical data, can be obtained from the Crown Minerals website: http://www.crownminerals.govt.nz/cms/petroleum/blocks-offers/onshore-taranaki-petroleum-blocks-offer

MAP OF ONSHORE TARANAKI BASIN BLOCKS OFFER

ENDS

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