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Anadarko to begin exploratory drilling in New Zealand late 2013, early 2014


WELLINGTON--Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will begin exploratory drilling offshore New Zealand in late 2013 or early 2014, a spokeswoman for the company said Thursday.

The company has secured a newly built drill ship and plans to have the drill in New Zealand for the "summer drilling season," she told The Wall Street Journal. Anadarko will drill in both the Taranaki Basin, off the west coast of the North Island, and in the Canterbury basin, off the east coast of New Zealand' s South Island. The company currently holds permits in these areas and has already undertaken seismic testing.

Anadarko has done exploratory work in New Zealand since 2008. The company previously said that it planned to start exploratory drilling in late 2012 or early 2013 but has struggled to secure a drill ship.

While gas and oil exploration in New Zealand is growing, with large producers such as Anadarko and Brazilian energy company Petroleo Brasileiro SA showing interest, the island nation' s distance from other offshore oil-drilling sites makes access to drills a factor that slows down the process.

The New Zealand government is pushing forward plans to increase the extent of New Zealand' s oil production, and a tender process for 23 additional blocks is under way. The tender closes on Oct. 15.

New Zealand earns about NZ$1.9 billion annually from crude-oil exports, making oil its third-largest export, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Dow Jones Newswires



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