It’s been reported that any oil or gas discovery in New Zealand has the power to become a huge game changer for the entire nation’s energy industry. Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) Chief Executive Cameron Madgwick said that any new find could significantly fund the country’s economy and help not only fuel further exploration but also finance other projects. It could also put New Zealand on the global stage and provide funds for generations to come.
Talking on the subject of New Zealand’s oil and gas exploration attempts, Madgwick said: “Every year the Government earns around $600 million royalty and income tax from oil and gas, but this would increase dramatically should exploration activities lead to a significant find. To give this some context, $600 million would fund a major road project, such as the Kapiti expressway, every year.” He added that the views are not unfounded, as there is genuine excitement on an international level for the potential in New Zealand’s petroleum industry. This is because, as far as many are concerned, the nation is largely underexplored, with only one basin currently producing. However, geologists have agreed that other basins could produce similar reserves as those found in the active Taranaki Basin.
Madgwick explained that an analysis of the region suggests that a gas or oil deposit discovery in just one basin could have a dramatic effect for the economy. In fact, a near-offshore operation could draw over $3 billion investment and create 270 jobs solely in the development phases. Meanwhile, investment of around $19.3 billion could be experienced if a major offshore project was launched.
“Imagine what a fraction of that level of investment could do to some of our regional economies. It would provide new jobs, new career pathways, more income to spend at local businesses and inject new life into some of our regional economies," Madgwick said. Norway, as an example, is currently the world’s eighth largest exporter of crude oil. The sector has powered the nation’s economy for 30 years, boosting its middle-income status to being one of the richest countries on the planet. In addition, a sovereign fund of approximately $875 billion has been grown, meaning that generations to come will benefit from the energy investment. As a comparison, New Zealand’s fund is $173 billion, though this could grow substantially if oil and gas exploration activities and drilling operations in the country grow.
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