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New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young welcomes the news that new international companies have been awarded permits to explore for oil and gas in and around New Zealand. Block Offer 2014 includes three new companies: international companies, Chevron (US) and ONGC Videsh (India's Oil & Natural Gas Corporation), and a local company, New Endeavour Resources. India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corporation is a new player in the Taranaki Basin. New Zealand is their 17th country they are involved in.

Young met with the Indian High Commissioner Mr Ravi Thapar, and Mr Mohan of ONGC after the announcement and offered his congratulations and extended an invitation to New Plymouth to meet other stake holders in the oil and gas sector.

The oil and gas industry is already a vital part of the New Zealand economy. Oil is our fourth largest commodity export after dairy, meat and wood, and oil and gas combined contribute more than $2.7 billion to GDP each year. To date all production in New Zealand has come from just Taranaki. If any of the other 17 basins has anything like the success of Taranaki, it would truly be an economic game-changer for our country, Young said.

Here in Taranaki, our GDP grew 46% ($5.4 billion to nearly $8 billion a year) when new fields came into production around 2008. Petroleum exploration and production made up 40% of Taranaki’s GDP over that period of time, translating into approximately 7,000 jobs in the region.

Young said that despite a slowdown in this sector over the past year, Block Offer 2014 is the most successful, and competitive, Block Offer yet. Our first annual Block Offer in 2012 saw ten petroleum exploration permits granted to seven companies. Block Offer 2013 granted 10 exploration permits. Block Offer 2014 has 15 permits granted. This bodes well for the future he said.

The Government collects more than $800 million in royalties and taxes from the oil and gas sector each year. This money is invested back into our communities in key infrastructure projects like schools, roads and hospitals.

It is important to remember that the announcement of these permits is the first step in a very long process. Exploration activity itself typically involves a smaller area than the area of a permit, and production a smaller area still. Throughout the life of a permit the operator will need to meet strict requirements of agencies including NZP&M, WorkSafe NZ, the EPA and Maritime NZ (if offshore), and DoC (if on conservation land), as well as local authorities.

Permits were awarded to:

  • Chevron NZ Exploration (new): Three offshore Pegasus permits (in a joint venture with Statoil Lambda Netherlands BV)
  • Statoil Lambda Netherlands BV: One offshore Northland-Reinga permit
  • ONGC Videsh (new): One offshore Taranaki permit
  • New Endeavour Resources (new): One offshore Taranaki permit
  • OMV New Zealand: One offshore Taranaki permit and one offshore Pegasus permit
  • Todd Exploration & Beach Petroleum: One offshore Taranaki permit
  • Mosman Oil & Gas NZ: One onshore East Coast permit and two onshore West Coast permits
  • TAG Oil NZ: Two onshore Taranaki permits
  • Petrochem: One onshore Taranaki permit

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