حفلة 2024

New Zealand to lift ban on offshore petroleum exploration

New Zealand’s government is planning to introduce new legislation to remove a ban on offshore petroleum exploration, a move aimed to bolster investment in the oil and gas sector, Reuters reported on Sunday.

The ban, enforced since 2018, restricted exploration outside onshore Taranaki, a key energy-rich region on the North Island. Resources Minister Shane Jones announced the bill, slated for parliamentary introduction by the end of 2024.

The proposed changes include revising the tendering process for petroleum exploration applications, aligning decommissioning practices with global standards, and enhancing regulatory efficiency.  Jones emphasised that current regulations hinder investment due to the high costs and burdens on industry.

Opposition to the removal of the ban has been voiced by environmental groups, including the New Zealand Green Party and Greenpeace. Despite this, government data highlights the significant economic stakes involved, with oil exports totalling NZ$900 million in 2022 and crown revenue from petroleum reaching NZ$214 million in 2022/23.

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