21 Sep 2010

National oil company opposed by sector

7:01 am on 21 September 2010

Oil and gas explorers oppose the idea of setting up a national oil company and partially listing it on the sharemarket.

New Zealand Oil & Gas chief executive David Salisbury says the idea of partially floating such a company has been mooted, following the release of a report alongside the Government's petroleum action plan nearly a year ago.

At a petroleum conference in Auckland on Monday, he said such a national oil company would be based on existing state owned assets, mainly Genesis Energy's 31% interest in the Kupe field.

It would take revenue from Kupe, in the realm of $100 million per year and reinvest it in the sector.

While a national oil company may lift overall activity in the sector, Mr Salisbury said it would run the risk of crowding out private sector investors.

Mr Salisbury said a partial float of a state-owned company would appeal to a very limited number of investors.