New Zealand: Petrobras awarded exploration permit in Raukumara Basin
01 Jun 2010
Petrobras has been awarded a permit to drill for oil and gas off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee said Tuesday. He said Petrobras had successfully bid for a 5-year exploration permit, covering 12,333 sq kms of the Raukumara Basin. In December 2008, the government released a blocks offer covering two permit areas over the basin. The offer closed in January 2010. Petrobras has committed to acquire seismic and drill one well within five years unless it chooses to surrender the permit earlier.
Brownlee says the government is committed to unlocking the potential of the country's frontier basins. 'Doing so will be an important part of a better future for all New Zealanders - bringing more jobs, more tax and royalty income, and most importantly, creating opportunities for long term regional development. To do this we need to attract investment from petroleum companies that have the capacity and capability to explore and build knowledge of our offshore basins.'
Brownlee says the announcement represents a major step forward in the relationship between New Zealand and Brazil. New Zealand is keen to deepen its economic relationship with Brazil, which is the world's eighth largest economy, with GDP of $US1.7 trillion.
The area, from 4 to 110 kms off the coast, has never been explored for oil or gas, but Brownlee said seismic studies indicated 'positive expectations for this basin as do the many oil and gas seeps over the adjacent onshore region.'