16 December 2015, News Wires – New Zealand’s Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges announced Wednesday the award of nine new oil and gas exploration permits as part of the country’s latest licensing round, Block Offer 2015. Block Offer 2015 includes three onshore permits and six offshore permits, all in the Taranaki Basin.
Collectively, the permits include a committed work program expenditure of $4.4 million, and a potential spend of more than $364 million if all contingent work is realized. OMV NZ Limited received four offshore Taranaki permits, in partnership with Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Limited, and Todd Exploration was awarded one offshore Taranaki permit. Mont D’Or Resources Limited also claimed one offshore Taranaki permit and the remaining three onshore permits were taken by Petrochem Limited.
Bridges commented in a government statement: “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. The award of exploration permits today is another step toward unlocking New Zealand’s oil and gas potential, both on and offshore.”