New Zealand offers four offshore and one onshore block in latest petroleum tender

New Zealand’s Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges has launched the 2016 Block Offer petroleum tender.

Block Offer 2016 announced Monday includes four offshore release areas, in the Reinga-Northland Basin, Taranaki Basin, Pegasus and East Coast Basins, and Great South-Canterbury Basin. There is one onshore release area in Taranaki.

The total acreage included in the tender is 525,515km², including 1,062 km² onshore.

“Since it was first introduced in 2012, the annual Block Offer has provided an effective way for the Government to strategically manage how we allocate petroleum exploration permits. It creates consistency for industry while ensuring we are attracting highly capable companies,”  Bridges says.

“Oil remains a significant export earner in New Zealand and natural gas is a vital input to industry, electricity generation and is used in more than 300,000 homes.

“However it’s not about development at any cost. In recent years, the Government has built a world-class regulatory framework to provide for oil and gas development, while ensuring our unique environment is protected and workplace health and safety standards are high.”

The 2016 Block Offer announcement follows consultation with iwi and local authorities, the government said. The tender will close on 7 September 2016. The outcome of the tender will likely be announced in December 2016.

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