Sale of Crown's Stake in Kupe Field to Proceed

The Crown is to proceed with the sale of its 11% share in the Kupe gas and oil field, located offshore New Zealand, to the state-owned electricity generator Genesis Power, the Minister of Energy Hon Pete Hodgson and the Associate Minister of Energy Hon Harry Duynhoven said in a joint statement.

The New Zealand Government decided in April this year to sell to Genesis its share in Kupe, to facilitate the development of the field.

The sale process was suspended in May to enable the Government to receive and consider the Waitangi Tribunal's Petroleum Report.

The tribunal's report had recommended that the Crown's share in Kupe be available for inclusion in Treaty settlements.

Mr. Hodgson said the Government's confirmation that it does not agree with the Tribunal's findings and will not act on its recommendations enables the sale of the Crown's Kupe share to resume.

Genesis owns 70% of the Kupe field, with the remaining 19% held by New Zealand Oil and Gas Ltd. Genesis is in the process of selecting a field operator and aims to bring the field into production in 2006.