Oil & Energy

Google Ad

New Zealand's Prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday no further offshore oil and gas exploration permits will be granted committing to a clean energy future. Existing permits remain unaffected.

New Zealand Oil and Gas

New Zealand Current Oil and Gas Permits

  • Existing exploration and mining rights are protected
  • 31 oil and gas exploration permits currently active in New Zealand
  • 22 permits offshore
  • Government said these would continue for the next three years and be reviewed after that.

Existing permits for exploration or extraction will be as is which at this time means exploration activity for several more decades. The move, given that it symbolises a change in direction after voters last year elected the Labor government led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will open the door to protestors to shut down existing permits.

Ardern pledged that New Zealand would be green by reducing the country's net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

New Zealand plans to plant 100 million trees each year and ensure the electricity grid runs entirely from renewable energy. Across the Tasman Australia has been taking a more objective approach studying Germany among other nations for the most efficient means for renewable energy. Australia dwarfs New Zealand in size and energy needs and is around six times the population.

The oil and gas industry in New Zealand is minor compared to it's neighbour, employing around 11,000 people and accounting for about 1 percent of the overall economy. Australia by comnparison will become the world's largest exporter of LNG in 2019.

Taranaki Economy

New Zealand main industries are farming, lumber, toilet paper and tourism. Regionally however the industry is important to the Taranaki region, where most of the activity is centered. New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom told Radio New Zealand the move was a "kick in the guts for the future of the Taranaki economy."

Ardern has said nobody would be losing their jobs as a result of the move. "We're striking the right balance for New Zealand," Ardern said. "We're protecting existing industry, and protecting future generations from climate change."

Opposition Response

Opposition lawmaker Jonathan Young described the move as "economic vandalism." "This decision is devoid of any rationale. It certainly has nothing to do with climate change,"  and that "These changes will simply shift production elsewhere in the world, not reduce emissions."

Greenpeace Response

Environmental group Greenpeace hailed Ardern's move. Russel Norman, the group's executive director in New Zealand, said New Zealand "has stood up to one of the most powerful industries in the world." 

Industry Response

Petroleum explorer New Zealand Oil and Gas Ltd said it does not expect any adverse impact on business on the decision . The explorer was the first within its industry peers to respond to the change in policy and said it plans to manage the risks associated with the policy change by investing in exploration and production assets in other jurisdictions.

Source: TradersCommunity, ABC

From a Sunburnt Country

Log in to comment
Discuss this article in the forums (0 replies).