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Abstract: The New Zealand Framework for Government and Private Sector Research, and Its Operation with Respect to the Upstream Petroleum Industry

J. M. Beggs

The New Zealand government has replaced its science bureaucracy with ten Crown Research Institutes, which are structured as government-owned limited-liability companies. Government research funding is allocated by a Foundation, while a small Ministry has been retained to deal exclusively with science policy.

As a Crown Research Institute, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences gains approximately 70% of its revenues from contracts with the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, and the remainder from a wide range of consultancy services to several industries. Petroleum exploration and development is a particular focus, and applied research and consultancy activities in basin analysis, source rock and reservoir systems, thermal modelling etc. are underpinned by research programmes in related fundamental areas such as paleontology and deep crustal structure.

Situated on an active plate boundary with a complex configuration and history of development, New Zealand serves as a natural laboratory in which to develop and test models of deformation and depositional systems. The Institute's private-sector research funding, in many cases in collaboration with international partners, addresses such topics as Quaternary sequence stratigraphy, deep-water depositional systems, basin thermal modelling and charge prediction (including distribution of inert gases). The results of this research are applicable world-wide. Insights from active tectonic and depositional processes in New Zealand improve the effectiveness of exploration and development in older or less understood basins which have developed in complex subduction and strike-slip tectonic setti gs.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France