18 Feb 2013

Three oil rigs to come to NZ in 2013

7:01 am on 18 February 2013

The oil sector is set for an unprecedented year, with three rigs lined up to come to New Zealand and an estimated $3 billion worth of industry money committed.

A few companies have chosen to opt out of exploration activity over the past few months which has raised questions about the potential of frontier basins.

But Edison Investment says 2013 will be a huge year for onshore and off-shore activity across the country.

head of research John Kidd said oil exploration projects take some time, but what has been arranged is exciting.

"There's now a total of three offshore rigs which are scheduled to come to the New Zealand sector over the second half of next year and probably into 2014, so that's very exciting.

''That's probably unprecedented and on the onshore sector we've got a number of players now all having declared very substantial work programmes."

Mr Kidd said OMV, which is already a major player in the New Zealand sector, has confirmed the arrival of two rigs to undertake an extensive work programme.

He said it's a big investment decision to come to New Zealand because of its distance from other countries.

Mr Kidd said other operators are looking at opportunities to use those rigs, which will be suitable for shallow to mid-depth water, while they are in New Zealand.

He said Anadarko has also announced the charter of a deep sea drilling ship which will come to New Zealand in the fourth quarter of this year.