9 Aug 2015

Oil industry optimistic despite downturn

1:08 pm on 9 August 2015

The local oil and gas industry remains confident it can weather the international downturn in petroleum exploration.

The price of benchmark Brent crude has slipped below $US50 a barrel, well under half its peak last year.

Analysts suggest two factors - the shale boom in the United States, and Saudi Arabia boosting its output in order to stay competitive - have collapsed the price and discouraged oil exploration worldwide.

But the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association does not expect this to affect New Zealand's current block offer, in which companies compete for the right to search for oil and gas.

The association said oil companies were in the country for the long haul, and ignored short-term price fluctuations.

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