1 Feb 2012

Speed urged on new exploration blocks

7:13 am on 1 February 2012

New Zealand Oil & Gas is urging the Government to speed up the process for offering new oil exploration blocks for investment.

The company has done deals in Tunisia and Indonesia to expand its activities overseas, but chief executive Andrew Knight, still expects significant growth in New Zealand.

The Government is keen to pursue growth in energy and mining this term, but Mr Knight says NZOG is still waiting for the Ministry of Economic Development to offer specific areas for exploration, called blocks, under a new system.

He says the delay means other options, including those overseas, will take priority.

Company revenue was $25.1 million in the last three months of 2011, with three quarters of that coming from its interests in the Kupe gas field, and the remainder from the Tui oil field.

The company also received $41 million from the Pike River Coal insurance settlement.

NZOG had $191.5 million in cash and nearly %55 million in debt, which it expects to repay by 2015.