8 Sep 2017

NZ oil drilling cut back as low global prices bite

2:22 pm on 8 September 2017

The amount of money New Zealand spends on drilling for oil has dropped by more than 90 percent in just two years, due to low international prices.

No caption

Only two new wells were drilled in 2016. Photo: 123rf.com

A report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment revealed the amount spent on new drills dropped to $95 million in 2016 - down from more than $1.1 billion in 2014.

Just two wells were drilled last year, compared to more than 30 in 2014.

The ministry said low international prices meant importing oil made economic sense at the moment.

But it expected the prices to rise again eventually, which could signal increased exploration.