20 Sep 2010

Crown Minerals Group to be boosted

5:23 pm on 20 September 2010

The oil and gas exploration sector is getting a boost in government resources, in a move aimed at removing administrative bottlenecks.

Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government will create a larger and more high-profile Crown Minerals Group, which manages the country's mineral and petroleum estate.

He says the new unit will have a more commercial and strategic approach, with extra staff.

Listed oil explorer New Zealand Oil and Gas chief executive David Salisbury says he has been concerned at delays in gaining approval for exploration and is pleased the unit will have more staff.

The Government will also establish an advisory board to oversee the unit, with technical and commercial representatives.

The Crown received $450 million in royalties from petroleum in the 2009/10 financial year.