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Petroleum exploration permit for Brazilian company announced

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Gerry Brownlee
Gerry Brownlee

Wellington, June 1 NZPA - New Zealand's first petroleum exploration permit over the Raukumara Basin on the North Island's east coast has been awarded to Petrobas International Braspetro B.V, Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee announced this afternoon.

The permit covers 12,333sq km.

Petrobas, owned by Brazilian company Petroleo Brasileiro S.A, was one of the "biggest players" in the petroleum industry and this was their first time in the region, Mr Brownlee said.

Their five-year permit over Raukumara was an "exciting step" into unexplored areas of New Zealand, he said.

Unlocking the potential of the country's frontier basins would be important for all New Zealanders -- bringing more jobs, more tax and royalty income, and opportunities for long term regional development, Mr Brownlee said.

"It is with the significant commitment by exploration companies in their work programme bids that we will better understand the wider geology and potential of our petroleum resources, and move closer to realising the commercial production potential of our offshore basins."

He said it was also a "major step forward" in New Zealand's relationship with Brazil.

Petroleum Exploration and Production Association (PEPANZ) executive officer John Pfahlert welcomed the announcement and said Petrobas' decision to pursue an exploration permit for the Raukumara Basin showed New Zealand's attractiveness to global oil producers.

"Petrobas controls significant oil and gas energy assets in 18 countries in Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

"It is Latin America's largest company with 2008 sales of $US118.3 billion ($NZ174.63 billion)."

Mr Pfahlert said Petrobas was a "world leader" in the development of advanced technology for deep water and ultra-deep water production.

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