New Zealand Deepwater, Onshore O&G Acreage Up for Bids

New opportunities for oil and gas exploration are opening up for Taranaki, Canterbury, Northland, and the East Cape of the North Island.

Following his announcement of nine new onshore Taranaki exploration permits, Associate Energy Minister Harry Duynhoven has announced that oil and gas acreage currently reserved across the offshore Taranaki Basin and the onshore and offshore Canterbury Basin are soon to be opened.

The release of these areas with recognized petroleum potential means that recently relinquished acreage will be available for new potential explorers quickly. These areas will be open for "priority in time" (pre-notified) applications from November 10, 2008.

Planned blocks offer releases for deep water acreage in the Raukumara (East Cape) and Northland basins are also well advanced. These releases will be supported by significant Crown-funded data packs and are expected to be opened for assessment before Christmas.

"The response we received to the Taranaki blocks offer shows there is strong interest in exploration in New Zealand," said Duynhoven.

"The combined effect of these offers continues the momentum to realize gas reserves for our domestic market and to discover potentially large oil and gas reserves in our deepwater basins," Duynhoven concluded.