Statoil awarded exploration permit offshore New Zealand

Dec 05, 2013 12:00 AM

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Statoil has obtained 100% equity share in an exploration permit in the Reinga-Northland Offshore Release Area in the New Zealand Block Offer 2013.

The permit covers approx. 10,000 sq kms and is located approx. 100 kms from shore to the west of New Zealand's North Island, in water depths ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 metres.

'We are very pleased with the award, which is in line with the sharpened exploration strategy Statoil has pursued over the last three years. Safe and secure operations are our first priority as we proceed to explore the permit's potential,' says Erling Vågnes, senior vice president for Statoil's exploration activities in the Eastern hemisphere.

The work programme is designed to fully evaluate the prospectivity of the permit in a staged manner within the 15-year permit timeframe. Statoil is committed to collect new 2D seismic data and to undertake a multibeam seafloor survey with selected core samples within the first three years. Following an analysis and interpretation of this data, Statoil will decide on further steps.

'Health, safety and the environment (HSE) is always Statoil's first priority. We will draw on our broad global experience in seismic data collection to secure safe operations offshore New Zealand,' says Vågnes.

Statoil will now enter into an extensive dialogue process with New Zealand authorities, and engage with a wide range of stakeholders in order to understand the local community, and ensure adherence with local regulations, customs and considerations. 'Statoil strongly believes in a good dialogue with the communities we operate in,' Vågnes says. 'New Zealand authorities have emphasised that Block Offer 2013 is an important step towards realising the potential of New Zealand's oil and gas resources. We are glad that our bid was accepted and look forward to being a part of New Zealand's next phase in oil and gas development.'

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