New Zealand’s Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges announced the award of nine new oil and gas exploration permits for Block Offer 2015, comprising of three onshore and six offshore permits in the Taranaki basin.
While Petrochem Ltd., won all three onshore permits, OMV NZ was awarded four offshore permits and both Todd Exploration and Mont D’Or Resources bagged one offshore permit each.
Bridges said collectively the permits include a committed work program expenditure of $4.4 million, with the potential of more than $364 million if all contingent work is realized.
“The result shows that the Block Offer approach is successfully attracting investment in New Zealand even in the face of low commodity prices, which are putting pressure on exploration companies to reduce expenditure,” he said.
“Over the past three years, the Block Offer process has successfully increased petroleum exploration investment. Block Offer 2015 consolidates these gains and confirms what the industry already knows - that the potential for Taranaki is far from reached.
“The exploration industry is now far more sensitive to budgets in the global context of a low oil price. But the sector is enduring and resilient. They remain attracted to the quality and varied investment New Zealand has to offer,” Bridges added.
Recipients of this year’s offer are active players in the New Zealand oil scene. Petrochem holds exploration assets in both onshore and offshore Taranaki and OMV’s portfolio includes interest in the Maui, Pohokura and Maari fields in the Taranaki basin. A unit of Singapore-based Mont d'Or Petroleum, Mont D’Or previously won an exploration permit in the onshore East Coast basin during Block Offer 2013 and Todd is a local oil and gas explorer.
Results from Block Offer 2016, which closed in October, will be announced in March 2016. This round includes one onshore and four offshore areas in the Taranaki, Pegasus and East Coast, Northland-Reinga, plus Great South and Canterbury basins.
Image: Taranaki basin / East West
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