Love That Oil: NZ To Become 'Energy Self-Sufficient' By 2009

The New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development reported that Buechler NZ Petroleum Conference presentation -- US investment manager William J Buechler says successful oil exploration could have a profound positive impact on the New Zealand economy.

He told the New Zealand Petroleum Conference that when both Maari and Tui oil fields were both on stream they were likely to provide a cashflow equal to half the dairy industry which is currently New Zealand's biggest export sector.

Mr Buechler said New Zealand was likely to become 100% energy self-sufficient by 2009 which was a quick rise from being 17% self-sufficient in 2006.

The oil production from Tui and Maari was not huge by international standards, he said. But the exploration of Taranaki and the Great South Basin along with the stirring activity in other basins, clearly highlight that exploration efforts have barely scratched the surface of New Zealand's oil potential.

He compared New Zealand to Norway which has similar populations of just over 4 million. Norway's oil and gas wealth had boosted Norway's gross domestic product per person by 288% to US$80,000 over the past 15 years so that in 2007 it was number two in the world.

The oil effect in New Zealand had the potential over the next 15 years to lift the New Zealand economy to a similar place as Norway, Mr Buechler said.

Mr Buechler is president and chief executive of Buechler Capital Asset Management which specialises in global investment. He is lead portfolio manager for the Buechler Capital Kiwi-Pacific Fund which invests 80% of its assets in New Zealand