"So, now onto what many of you are waiting for.The National government continue to rape and pillage our rights, our assets, and everything else of any value.
I’m pleased to announce this morning the areas that are available for bidding in the 2014 New Zealand Block Offer.
There are three onshore release areas and five offshore release areas.
Iwi, hapū and local authorities have been consulted on all of the areas that I’m releasing today.
Let’s start with the onshore areas that will be available.
Onshore Taranaki Basin
The first onshore area is Taranaki.
The area was first drilled here in 1865, and it is New Zealand’s only producing basin to date.
Three permits were granted for the onshore Taranaki Basin as part of Block Offer 2013, reflecting strong interest in the area.
The 2014 release areas are prospective for oil and gas and feature numerous geological structures that are likely to be prospective for petroleum.
Producing fields near the release area include:
Kapuni – a gas condensate field;
Tariki-Ahuroa – which is also a gas condensate field; and
McKee – an oil and gas field;
The area has good coverage in existing data and represents a relatively mature opportunity for companies.
Onshore East Coast Basin
Turning to the other side of the North Island, onshore East Coast is again on offer in 2014.
More than 40 wells have been drilled onshore since 1955 reflecting the prospectivity of the area.
We are seeing international interest in this area, particularly in tight oil and gas, and two permits were awarded for the onshore East Coast Basin in Block Offer 2013.
Onshore West Coast Basin
This year I’m pleased to add the West Coast of the South Island to the acreage on offer.
The West Coast has attracted exploration interest since the early 20th century, and has known prospectivity for both oil and gas.
Last year we introduced a graticular methodology for offshore release areas, to give bidders the flexibility to define their desired permit area within predetermined limits.
You may have noted on the maps onscreen that for Block Offer 2014 we have extended this approach to onshore release areas.
Bids for onshore Taranaki may be for areas up to 250 square kilometres.
Other onshore bid areas may be up to one thousand square kilometres
Now to the five offshore areas that are available in this year’s block offer.
Offshore Taranaki Basin
The first is offshore Taranaki.
Off the west coast of the North Island, the basin stretches from the coast of Auckland to the northern tip of the South Island.
Producing wells adjacent to the area on offer in 2014 include:
Māui – a gas condensate and oil field;
Kupe – a gas condensate field
Pohokura – also a gas condensate field; and
the Tui oil field;
This includes acreage from a relinquished offshore Taranaki Petroleum Exploration Permit that became available late last year. We know the basin is highly prospective for oil and gas but remains under-explored and has real potential for future discoveries.
Two permits were awarded in the offshore Taranaki Basin in Block Offer 2013.
Offshore Reinga-Northland Basin
The Reinga-Northland Basin off the west coast of Northland is on offer again in 2014.
While an exploration permit was awarded to Statoil for part of the Reinga-Northland Basin last year, it remains virtually unexplored.
However, we have strong evidence that it is prospective for oil and gas, and it has many similarities with the Taranaki Basin.
This is one of the more exciting areas on offer.
Offshore New Caledonia Basin
A new basin has been added to the available areas for 2014.
The New Caledonia Basin release area, located off the west coast of the North Island, covers a total of 49,000 square kilometres.
Like the Reinga-Northland Basin, the New Caledonia basin remains virtually unexplored and again has many geological similarities with the Taranaki Basin.
Despite being truly frontier acreage, the area is already attracting strong interest from Majors and Super Majors, so it looks promising.
Offshore Pegasus Basin
I’m pleased to announce that the Pegasus Basin will be on offer this year.
The area, which is located off the south-east of the North Island, covers an area of approximately 75,000 square kilometres.
The first exploration permit for this basin was awarded in late 2012 to Anadarko.
Offshore Great South & Canterbury Basins
The last of the offshore areas on offer in 2014 are the Great South and Canterbury Basins.
This large area off the lower east coast of the South Island is prospective for oil and gas.
Discoveries in this region date back to the mid-1970s and through to the 1980s.
It has a long demonstrated active petroleum system that has been the subject of renewed interest since 2007, and two permits were awarded for the Great South-Canterbury Basins last year.
To sum up, the Government is offering 405,000 square kilometres of acreage in the 2014 New Zealand Block Offer.
The three onshore and five offshore release areas on offer make up a tender that ranges from smaller appraisal blocks in well-explored areas containing previously drilled wells, through to large blocks with running room in frontier regions where little to no exploration has taken place.
Industry has six months to prepare their most compelling work programmes.
New Zealand has built a strong, world-class regulatory framework to provide economic opportunities but also provide the necessary environmental protections. The Government expects companies to clearly demonstrate how exploration activity will be completed within our regulatory framework.
All bids are due by 25 September; and I expect to be able to announce the successful bidders in December this year.
This morning I’m also pleased to announce that today we are opening industry nominations for Block Offer 2015"
Shortly after this it was revealed that Simon Bridges had absolutely no idea that he's signed away a National Park.