New Zealand Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges on Wednesday announced the award of nine new oil and gas exploration permits for Block Offer 2015.
Block Offer 2015 includes three onshore permits and six offshore permits, all in the Taranaki Basin.
According to Bridges, collectively the permits include a committed work programme expenditure of $4.4 million, with the potential of more than $364 million if all contingent work is realised.
The total acreage of the permits for Block Offer 2015 is 12,111 square kilometers. Permit work programs include geological studies and/or seismic reprocessing.
Simon Bridges 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.”
The permits granted include: OMV NZ Limited; Todd Exploration; Mont D’Or Resources Limited, and Petrochem Limited.
“The award of exploration permits today is another step toward unlocking New Zealand’s oil and gas potential, both on and offshore,” Bridges concluded.
OMV, in partnership with Mitsui, has been awarded four offshore permits, all four are for 12 years.
Todd Exploration and Mont D’Or Resources have been granted one 12-year offshore permit each, and Petrochem has been granted three onshore permits, all for 10 years.