New Zealand Energy Corp. (NZEC) has relinquished the Castlepoint and Wairoa permits in the East Coast Basin of New Zealand's North Island. NZEC continues to hold a 100% interest in the East Cape Permit, which covers 1,048,406 onshore acres in the East Coast Basin, and also controls 97,637 net acres across six permits in the Taranaki Basin of New Zealand's North Island.
"NZEC is focused in the near-term on its Taranaki Basin permits that offer near-term production potential,” said John Proust, CEO of NZEC. “The company has also retained its East Cape Permit, which gives the company more than 1 million acres and five years to explore the unconventional oil shales and unlock the potential of New Zealand's East Coast Basin.”
He noted that relinquishing the Castlepoint and Wairoa permits has reduced NZEC’s work program commitments by $12.9 (CAD 13.9 million) for 2014, and $50.6 (CAD 54.3 million) over the life of the relinquished permits. The company's work program commitments for the East Coast for the remainder of 2014 are now only $59,686 (CAD 64,000). Its Taranaki work program commitments for the remainder of 2014 are $2.9 million (CAD 3.2 million), of which $298,432 (CAD 320,000) relate to NZEC’s producing assets.
"NZEC's work on the Castlepoint and Wairoa permits has provided the company with significant technical information and insight into the Waipawa Black Shale, which will guide the company's exploration strategy on the East Cape Permit," Proust continued. "For example, one of the stratigraphic wells that NZEC drilled on the Castlepoint Permit identified a Waipawa horizon that the company's geology team believes may extend northward into the East Cape Permit.”