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New Zealand Prepared For A ‘Black Gold Rush’

New Zealand Prepared For A ‘Black Gold Rush’

Seismic Survey Conducted by Crown Minerals Group Reveals Untapped Potential for Global Oil Prospectors in New Zealand

Leading government geologists are offering a surprising response to the question of where future oil and gas stocks might lie. The answer – right here in New Zealand.

Associate Minister of Energy, Hon Harry Duynhoven, said – “From the man on the street concerned with petrol prices, to regional workforces, right throughout the commercial infrastructure of New Zealand – the value of domestic oil and gas exploration cannot be over-stated. That is why every Kiwi should take an interest in the Petroleum Conference in March – all of us will be affected by its conclusions.”

Adam Feeley, Group Manager of Crown Minerals, within the Ministry of Economic Development, also emphasised the potential of domestic exploration: “One need only look at the example of Norway – which utterly transformed its economy with oil discoveries in the 1960s – to recognise the impact that this could have. New Zealand is a remarkably under-explored country and with hydrocarbon deposits found in all the near-shore petroleum basins there is enormous potential in our oceans.”

As pressure on traditional oil stocks increases and the price of oil rises to unprecedented levels, the question of new sources is reaching a critical point.

Extensive seismic surveys being conducted by the Ministry of Economic Development’s Crown Minerals Group, have re-affirmed the scale of potential that lies untapped in New Zealand’s continental shelf.

Typically, oil companies would be required to fund their own expensive and costly seismic surveys. However, Crown Minerals has conducted extensive surveys to assist prospective companies decide what locations they will bid for drilling rights. It is a unique offering by international standards and is indicative of the government’s commitment to attract more oil companies to explore New Zealand’s potential.

Over 4 million km² of offshore acreage is available to explore in New Zealand, of which approximately 104,000 km² is currently being offered for exploration bids, with a further 360,000 km2 to be offered soon in the Great South Basin.

In addition, major petroleum exploration and production companies, Origin Energy and OMV, have just this month been confirmed as successful bidders for plots in Northland, totalling up to $100 million in new exploration investment in the region.[1]

The new exploration is set to add to what has been an extremely busy 12 months with petroleum exploration and development in New Zealand, with record levels of drilling and five new petroleum mining permits being issued for both oil and gas discoveries. (See attached NZ Exploration Maps.)

Regions outside Northland and Taranaki with some of the strongest potential include the area south and east of Invercargill, known as the Great South basin; and the East Coast basin, east of Hawkes Bay.

The concern over depleting world stocks of oil and gas reserves and the solution New Zealand may offer will be a key theme when some of the world’s leading experts in oil and gas exploration gather at Auckland’s SKYCITY Convention Centre this March. Key note speakers at the New Zealand Petroleum conference will include Minister of Energy, Hon David Parker, Associate Minister of Energy, Hon Harry Duynhoven, and celebrated author and adviser to the US Government, Mr Matt Simmons, in his first speaking engagement in Australasia.

Hosted by the Ministry of Economic Development, the biennial conference runs from 5 to 8 March and looks set to spark considerable debate amongst explorers, investors, and the government, about the potential New Zealand offers and the action needed to realise that potential.


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