Every year, the government of New Zealand allocates petroleum exploration permits in an annual tender called a Block Offer. This year’s was the most successful to date, with 15 permits granted, totaling 405,000 square kilometers. There was strong interest from existing operators and new players, paying off New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals’ efforts to raise awareness of New Zealand’s oil and gas exploration potential, and the government’s commitment to support responsible investment in petroleum exploration.
TAG Oil received both permits that we bid on, both located in the Taranaki Basin: Permit 57065 (“Sidewinder North”) and Petroleum Exploration Permit 57063 (“Waiiti”), adding 36,781 acres to the Company’s portfolio. As noted in a press release late last week, the permits are situated in a prolific oil and gas production fairway in close proximity to producing oil and gas fields, making them strategic for TAG, and complementary to our existing producing operations.
Sidewinder North provides an opportunity to extend TAG Oil’s known Sidwinder oil and gas discovery play area, while Waiiti gives TAG the opportunity to explore for both shallow Miocene oil and deep Eocene condensate-rich gas, where a prior operator encountered significant elevated gas and oil shows.