NZ Opens Untapped Reinga Basin for Business

Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee announced the opening of bidding for six new petroleum exploration blocks across the Reinga Basin off the northwest coast of New Zealand.

The block offer covers 105,230 square kilometers, and neighbors the Northland Basin also currently open for bidding. The area is geologically contiguous with the hydrocarbon producing Taranaki Basin.

"This is an exciting opportunity for New Zealand and explorers alike. It is one of the most prospective frontier basins in the New Zealand region with all the elements required for an active petroleum system present over a large area," said Brownlee.

This is the first time blocks have been offered over the Reinga Basin.

"This Government is committed to maximising the potential of New Zealand's largely untapped petroleum resources. There could be substantial regional and national economic benefits arising from any discovery of new oil and gas," said Brownlee.

"The immediate focus must be on increasing exploration activity and improving the knowledge of our petroleum basins. To support exploration of this virgin frontier basin area, the Government acquired 2,026 kilometers of 2D seismic data over the Reinga Basin in early 2009, as part of its Data Acquisition Program."

A further 3,886 kilometers of 2D seismic data is available from CGGVeritas SA.

In coming months Crown Minerals will be promoting the Reinga Basin and Northland Basin bidding rounds to companies in Australia, North America, Europe and Asia.

The current block offer keeps up the momentum generated by previous block offer releases such as onshore Taranaki, offshore Raukumara, which closes this month, and offshore Northland, which closes at the same time as the Reinga Block Offer on August 18, 2010.