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New opportunities for oil and gas exploration open

23 September 2008 Media Statement
Embargoed until Tuesday 23 September, 6.00am

New opportunities for oil and gas exploration open


New opportunities for oil and gas exploration are opening up for Taranaki, Canterbury, Northland, and the East Cape of the North Island.

Following his announcement of nine new onshore Taranaki exploration permits, Associate Energy Minister Harry Duynhoven today announced that oil and gas
acreage currently reserved across the offshore Taranaki Basin and the onshore and offshore Canterbury Basin are soon to be opened.

The release of these areas with recognised petroleum potential means that recently relinquished acreage will be available for new potential explorers quickly. These areas will be open for “priority in time” (pre-notified) applications from 10 November 2008.

Planned blocks offer releases for deep water acreage in the Raukumara (East Cape) and Northland basins are also well advanced. These releases will be supported by significant Crown-funded data packs and are expected to be opened for assessment before Christmas.

"The response we received to the Taranaki blocks offer shows there is strong interest in exploration in New Zealand.

"The combined effect of these offers continues the momentum to realise gas reserves for our domestic market and to discover potentially large oil and gas reserves in our deep water basins," Mr Duynhoven concluded.

ends

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