NZOG Relinquishes PEP 51311 in Taranaki Basin

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) announced that it has relinquished Petroleum Exploration Permit (PEP) 51311, which contains the Kakapo prospect in the Taranaki Basin off New Zealand.

NZOG holds a 100 percent interest in PEP 51311 and the company felt that the high level of exposure of the permit did not fit its portfolio.

"While we are still enthusiastic about Kakapo and would love to drill it, it doesn’t fit our portfolio at 100 percent exposure when there is so much other activity underway." NZOG CEO Andrew Knight said in a company release.

"We have made strenuous efforts to find a farmin partner to share the investment risk. While interest in New Zealand’s prospective basins continues to grow, it has not been possible to farm out the prospect and secure a suitable rig contract before a deadline at the end of July."

NZOG said in February that Raisama Energy has withdrawn from a farm-in agreement to participate in drilling the Kakapo structure. Raisama had originally planned to farm-in to a 10 percent interest in PEP 51311 by paying 20 percent of drilling costs - up to $3.1 million (AUD 3 million) - and 10 percent after that.

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