New Zealand Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges today launched the third annual Block Offer for oil and gas exploration.
“In 2012 the Government introduced the Block Offer regime which provides an efficient, predictable and transparent process for oil and gas exploration permitting.
“The new regime has attracted world-class international operators to New Zealand, and we believe the 405,000 square kilometres released for tender this year will be similarly attractive,” Bridges says.
The following areas are open for bidding in 2014:
*three onshore release areas in the East Coast Basin, Taranaki Basin and West Coast Basin
*five offshore release areas in the Reinga-Northland Basin, Taranaki Basin, New Caledonia Basin, Pegasus-East Coast Basin, and Great South-Canterbury Basin
“This year’s Block Offer is supported by a comprehensive data pack, which includes some previously unavailable data. The data pack provides companies with timely and accessible information to support decisions about investment in New Zealand,” Bridges says.
“New Zealand has built a strong, world-class regulatory framework to provide economic opportunities, while also ensuring the necessary environmental protections.
“The process for awarding permits is rigorous, and the Government expects companies to clearly demonstrate their technical and financial capability to deliver their proposed work programme and meet our high health and safety, and environmental requirements.
“Oil is our 4th largest export, with a value of around $1.8 billion in 2012. The Government receives around 42 per cent of the profits, or approximately $700 million each year. This money is invested back into our communities in key infrastructure projects like schools, roads and hospitals.
“But we have barely scratched the surface of our potential.
“If just one more of our 18 basins was opened for production, like Taranaki, it would be an economic game-changer for our nation.
“That is why the Government will continue to work hard to attract major international companies to invest in petroleum exploration and development in New Zealand,” Bridges says. B
The areas made available for bidding follows consultation with iwi, hapū and local authorities.
The tender will close at 5pm (NZT) on 25 September 2014. Permits will be awarded in December 2014.