Award of New Permit Adds Impetus to Frontier Exploration

The Associate Minister of Energy, Harry Duynhoven, announced the award of a large offshore exploration permit to Pogo New Zealand off the East Coast of the North Island.

"We have received a high quality bid from Pogo which highlights both the potential of the East Coast and the commitment to more aggressive exploration from international companies," Mr. Duynhoven said.

The permit awarded comprises an area of over 8,000 km2 in the Hawke Bay between Mahia and Cape Kidnappers.

Pogo NZ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pogo Producing Company. Pogo is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has been involved in oil and gas exploration and production for over thirty years. Pogo owns interests in the Gulf of Mexico, onshore United States, Canada, Vietnam and New Zealand. In 2005 Pogo spent in excess of US$510 million on capital and exploration projects including US $10 million on a 3D seismic program in New Zealand. Pogo has a market capitalization, including debt, of approximately US$5 billion.

Pogo's minimum work program includes provision for 1500km of 2D seismic data and up to two exploration wells, with estimated exploration expenditure over the 5 year permit period of up to US$45M.

"It is important for the development of New Zealand's petroleum industry that production happens within its frontier basins, and the proposed exploration program of work gives justified optimism for the future of the basin," Mr. Duynhoven said.

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