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NZ Oil and Gas misses out on stake in deepwater Taranaki permit

Tuesday 23rd October 2012

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New Zealand Oil & Gas has missed out on acquiring a stake in a deepwater exploration permit in the Taranaki basin after the existing partners exercised their right to buy it.

The Wellington-based company has been blocked from buying a 6.7 percent stake in the 16,380 square-kilometre petroleum exploration permit off the Taranaki coast after operator Anadarko and Hyundai Hysco exercised their first-buyer rights. NZOG had agreed to pay US$9.5 million to the operation's minority partners, Global Resources Holdings and Randall C Thompson LLC.

"The existing partners have the opportunity to access the interest NZOG negotiated and have taken it," chief executive Andrew Knight said in a statement. "NZOG is working on building itself to become the partner of choice for exploration in New Zealand so that, in future, a widely New Zealand-owned company can be involved in the opportunities deepwater exploration in New Zealand offer."

This week Houston-based Anadarko relinquished one of its Canterbury basin permits, while at the same time adding to an adjacent area in joint-venture with Contact Energy-parent, Origin Energy.

Anadarko is aiming to bring a drillship to New Zealand in the 2013/14 drilling season.

In August, NZOG scuttled its option to drill the deepwater Barque project off the Canterbury coast after failing to find farm-in profits and after a review determined the risk profile was too high. That permit was next to the Anadarko-Origin area.

NZOG shares fell 1.1 percent to 87 cents in trading today, and have climbed 25 percent this year.

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