Petrobras gives up exploration permit for in New Zealand


Petrobras gives up exploration permit for in New Zealand


WELLINGTON -- New Zealand's effort to attract overseas companies to its oil and gas sector received a jolt with the government confirming that Petrobras has surrendered its oil and gas exploration permit in the South Pacific nation.

The country's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said that the company has surrendered its exploration permit for the Raukumara Basin, off the eastern coast of New Zealand's North Island. While Geoff Davies, press secretary in the office of Phil Heatley, minister for energy and resources also confirmed the pullout, saying that the ministry on its website has "deleted the permit from active ones," Petrobras is yet to make an official announcement.

"This is a commercial decision, based on a number of factors including how the company will be prioritizing its oil and exploration portfolio worldwide," Kevin Rolens, director at the MBIE, said. Earlier this year, Petrobras had announced plans to divest $15 billion in non core assets to help finance the development of huge discoveries off the Brazilian coast. In 2010, Petrobras received permission from the New Zealand government to explore the PEP-52707 block that covered an area of 12,330 sq km at a water depth of 1,000 m, the company's website said.

Petrobras, which had undertaken 2D seismic study over 3,305 km, has exercised the option to surrender the permit after gathering this information, MBIE noted.

Besides Petrobras, Anadarko Petroleum, OMV and Shell are some of the companies that have been exploring for oil and gas in New Zealand over the past few years.

Dow Jones Newswires

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