THE Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand(PEPANZ) has welcomed a new Statistics New Zealand report that highlights the importance of the oil and gas sector to New Zealand’s marine economy.
The report, New Zealand’s marine economy: 2007-13, released by Statistics New Zealand, shows offshore minerals (mainly oil and gas extraction and exploration), was the largest PEPANZ’s chief executive, Cameron Madgwick, said the report shows offshore oil and gas exploration and production is incredibly important to the New Zealand economy and contributes more to both the marine economy and New Zealand’s GDP than shipping, fisheries and aquaculture combined.
“There is strong potential for growth in the contribution that oil and gas exploration and production makes to our marine economy over the coming years,” Mr Madgwick said.
“Currently oil and gas production is concentrated in Taranaki, but there is genuine international excitement about New Zealand’s petroleum potential with exploration currently occurring off the east coasts of both the North and South Islands.
“Taranaki is just one of 17 sedimentary basins that surround New Zealand and geologists agree that all of these basins have the potential to have similar deposits of oil and gas to that found in Taranaki.
“New Zealand, however, is underexplored by international standards, and we will not know exactly what resources exist, in what quantity, and where until exploration data is collected and analysed. This has been the focus of the industry over recent years.”
Mr Madgwick said the oil and gas industry is absolutely committed to protecting New Zealand’s precious marine environment.
“The impact on New Zealand’s marine environment from oil and gas exploration and production is small. The industry is governed by extensive and stringent regulation and heavy oversight that ensures we operate safely and the impact on the immediate surroundings is kept to an absolute minimum.
“Emissions from oil and gas production in New Zealand are relatively small. New Zealand’s emissions profile is unique in the world, with nearly half of our greenhouse gases generated from agricultural activities.
“Expansion of oil and gas production will be an important contributor to growing New Zealand’s economy, improving living standards, and helping generate new economic activity in some of our regions,” Mr Madgwick said.