22 Dec 2010

Bluff still hopes oil industry will come

8:15 pm on 22 December 2010

South Port in Bluff still hopes to become a base for oil exploration, despite fears the Great South Basin could be too expensive to explore.

ExxonMobil and Todd Energy surrendered their joint permit to explore part of the basin in October, saying the area off Southland is too risky and remote, and they could not find partners to share the drilling costs.

A joint venture between OMV New Zealand, PTT-EP of Thailand and Mitsui E & P of Japan still holds exploration permits but is yet to decide whether to drill.

South Port chief executive Mark O'Connor says the consortium is still studying the basin and analysing seismic information.