New Zealand's Ministry of Economic Development announced Friday that it plans to release 23 license blocks for onshore and offshore areas designated for exploration under its 2012 annual tender process.
The 23 blocks have been chosen based on current knowledge of the geology and oil and gas prospectivity of the areas.
"The blocks cover a number of petroleum basins and a variety of environmental settings and resource types to attract a range of potential explorers with different expertise and interests," said David Binnie, General Manager of New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals, a branch of the Ministry of Economic Development.
Oil and gas industry players in New Zealand viewed this development as very positive from an employment perspective.
"This announcement signals growth of the oil and gas industry, the potential to give New Zealand's economy a much needed boost and create more jobs on the ground for Kiwi workers," commented David Robinson, CEO of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association New Zealand (PENANZ).
“Success in these blocks will mean important revenue to New Zealand at a time when our economy is in real need of a boost," added Robinson.
The blocks cover 64,732 square miles (40,199 square kilometers) of offshore seabed and 5,324 square miles (3,306 square kilometers) of land in Waikato, Taranaki, Tasman, the West Coast and Southland.
The Ministry of Economic Development said that the closing date for all bids submission is on Oct. 15, 2012.
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