New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd. and Beach Energy Ltd. have been granted an extension of time for their Canterbury basin permit PEP 52717 offshore New Zealand’s south island. The permit contains the prospective Barque prospect.
The joint venture now has until Apr. 10, 2018, to commit to drilling an exploration well, and until June 10, 2020, to actually drill the well if they go ahead with the program.
Barque has the potential to hold 530 million bbl of oil—twice the size of the major Maui discovery offshore Taranaki basin that has been on stream since the 1970s.
New Zealand’s Petroleum& Minerals Department decided to allow the permit extension in light of the downturn in activity in the country as a result of the fall in global oil prices.
NZOG and Beach each have equal interest in the permit. NZOG has said it is in talks with potential farm-in partners with the ability to operate the large deepwater prospect.
The extension announcement, however, coincided with a note from Norway’s Statoil AS, which has pulled out of the remote Reinga basin in Northland, atop the North Island, because it believes the chances of making an oil discovery are too low to continue with its program.