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Brownlee gives the green light for more petroleum exploration

Wednesday 20th January 2010

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Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee has given the green light for six new petroleum exploration blocks in the Reinga Basin on the northwest cost of New Zealand.

Brownlee said the 105,230 square kilometre region has “all of the elements required for an active petroleum system,” and Crown Minerals will promote the opportunity to companies in Australia, North American, Europe and Asia in the coming months.  

“This government is committed to maximising the potential of New Zealand’s largely untapped petroleum resources,” Brownlee said in a statement.

“The immediate focus must be on increasing exploration activity and improving the knowledge of our petroleum basins.”  

The Energy Minister has been an ardent supporter of tapping New Zealand’s mineral wealth and petroleum resource since taking the role in 2008.

Last November he announced eight areas of action that the government will pursue in the coming year that would allow oil and gas resources to deliver “a step change in New Zealand’s economic performance.”  

Exploration permits are expected to be awarded later this year, though it will probably be four or five years before the full commercial potential of a discovery is known, and a further ten years before any oil or gas reaches the market.

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