By Neil Ritchie

THE ADVANTAGE New Zealand Petroleum Summit 2015, scheduled to be held in Auckland during late March, has attracted over 400 delegates, organisers of the three-day conference have announced.

The delegates – from Australia, Asia, the UK, North America, South America, Europe and of course New Zealand – have already registered.

Conference proceedings include a farm-in seminar featuring many of the country’s established players, as well as international keynote speakers talking about how New Zealand is positioned to compete on the global oil and gas stage and the myths perpetuated by protestors about marine seismic surveys.

The president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, Tisha Schuller, will also deliver the international keynote address, discussing her organisation’s experience of representing local gas interests to the state.

On her watch, the Colorado Oil & Gas Association has built a comprehensive community outreach approach, an industry ambassadors educational series, and an emerging leaders program called EnGen.

Well known New Zealand speakers are talking about various geological and geophysical, environmental, taxation and regulatory regimes.

Others are bringing fresh ideas about the prospectivity of frontier basins and arguments against limiting the remaining petroleum potential of the offshore Taranaki basin.

Still others will outline the potential transformation of New Zealand’s economy through further significant oil and gas discoveries and developments.

Security is tight at the event, with organisers aiming to combat increasing threats of various environmental protests, including a publicised protest march on 29 March, before the conference begins.