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ABSTRACT: New Zealand frontier opportunities

Fowke, Barrie , Crown Minerals, Wellington, New Zealand

The New Zealand Government is actively encouraging participation by international companies in the exploration and development of this country's petroleum resources and has adopted a number of initiatives designed to ensure that New Zealand is an attractive destination to petroleum explorers. These initiatives include some of the world's most competitive terms, an excellent and supportive business environment and ready access to prospective areas.

While New Zealand's current level of production and reserves remain significant and provide a major contribution to the nation's economy, the hunt is on for new fields - not only in Taranaki but in the prospective frontier areas of seven other petroleum basins. Despite some promising results from previous exploration ventures, New Zealand's basins remain largely underexplored. A recent review of all New Zealand's basins has highlighted prospects and leads in each basin.

New Zealand has a petroleum history of some note with its first oil discovery dating back to 1866. It was just over 100 years later that the large Maui gas/condensate field was discovered in the Taranaki Basin. This was followed by a succession of commercial discoveries in that province, both on and offshore. The development of these discoveries has resulted in a buoyant industry featuring petrochemical plants and natural gas transmission throughout New Zealand's North Island and reduced reliance on the importation of petroleum for New Zealand's internal needs.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia