WITH themes of unity, resilience and opportunity, the New Zealand Petroleum Conference has defined the challenges facing the nation’s oil and gas industry.

Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand chief executive Cameron Madgwick said the three themes of the conference were a good reflection of the year ahead.

“At a time where the oil and gas industry is faced with many global challenges, the registrations show how resilient our industry is, and the desire for industry, government and stakeholders to be united when facing those challenges by looking for future opportunities together,” he said.

“Even during tough times it is important that we do not rest on our laurels, and continue to grow our understanding of the industry here in New Zealand and around the world.”

“This year it’s all about our unity, our resilience and looking to the future and the opportunities that lay ahead,” he said in an announcement.

To be held at Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre from 20 to 22 March, the three day conference program is packed into three streams – assessment and exploration, exploration and production, and economics, community and regulatory.

A highlight of Monday morning’s program will be an address from New Zealand’s minster of energy and resources, Simon Bridges, as he launches the government’s 2016 block offer, an exclusive tender for exploration permits.

Other high profile speakers include Steve Bielby, the chief executive of New Zealand’s gas industry body, The Gas Industry Company, who will speak on the state of the domestic gas market, growth and demand forecasts.

Also speaking will be Woodward Partners director of equity research Kohn Kidd, who will speak to the paths to market for oil and gas in New Zealand, and Wood McKenzie investment expert Suzannah Toulmin, who will speak to New Zealand’s international competitiveness as oil and gas market.

In all, Mr Madgwick said the event gave industry both a platform and an opportunity to share experiences and expertise in the wider interests of the sector and the New Zealand economy.