PEPANZ expresses disappointment in Auckland Council decision

The Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) today expressed its disappointment in the symbolic decision by the Auckland Council to oppose oil prospecting, exploration and drilling in New Zealand.

PEPANZ Chief Executive Cameron Madgwick says there is genuine international interest in New Zealand and the oil and gas industry has the potential to have a profound impact on both New Zealand’s national and regional economies.

“Every year the Government earns around $600 million in royalty and income tax from the oil and gas sector, but this would increase dramatically should exploration activities lead to a significant find, helping the Government fund essential services,” says Mr Madgwick.

“Analysis has shown that a significant find in a single one of New Zealand’s 17 sedimentary basins could have a massive economic benefit. A near off-shore field could mean more than $3 billion of investment, creating 270 jobs in the development phase. A major offshore gas field could mean a massive $19.3 billion of investment.

“To understand the impact the industry can have on a region, you only need to look at Taranaki. Oil and gas exploration and production is one of the key reasons why Taranaki has the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita in New Zealand. Oil and gas activity makes up 40 percent of Taranaki’s regional Gross Domestic Product, and employs over two percent of the region’s workforce.

Mr Madgwick says the while industry understands that there are a wide range of views on oil and gas exploration and production in the community, it is important that councils balance both economic opportunity, environmental considerations and the industry’s track record in the country.

“The industry is absolutely committed to protecting the environment – doing everything it can to minimise its impact and reduce the risk of an incident. This is a commitment we do not take likely,” says Mr Madgwick.

“In fact, safety is at the centre of everything the industry does. We are rightfully subject to robust national oversight, detailed legislative requirements and robust plans to respond to any eventuality. There have been no serious incidents in the 150 years the industry has been in operation in Taranaki and this is a record we are proud of.

“Local government has a critical role to play in the oil and gas sector, ensuring that activities are undertaken in a safe and effective manner, and it is important that the industry has a close relationship with all councils.  I look forward to having the opportunity to meet with Mayor Goff and the new Auckland Council to listen to their concerns and discuss the industry’s future in New Zealand.”