Report: Anadarko dropping New Zealand offshore blocks

U.S. oil firm Anadarko has reportedly decided to give up some of its offshore blocks in New Zealand.

The company will reportedly surrender two exploration permits in Pegasus Basin over an area of 7,085 square-kilometers off the Kaikoura and Wellington Coasts.

New Zealand’s Green Party has welcomed the news saying that beaches in Wellington, Wairarapa, and the top of the South Island “are at less risk of being decimated by an oil spill after Anadarko surrendered its fossil fuel exploration permits in the Pegasus Basin.”

Green Party energy and resources spokesperson Gareth Hughes said: “This is a big win for everyone who campaigned against deep-sea oil drilling off Wellington’s south coast.  The Green Party recently revealed that less than half of all councils are adequately prepared for an oil spill off their coastlines.”

Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Anadarko, seeking confirmation of these reports. We will update the article with any response we receive.

Anadarko’s two permits in the Pegasus Basin off the southern Wellington and Wairarapa coasts were granted in the December 2012 Block Offer and covered 7,085 square km. The company has been exploring in New Zealand since 2008, with offshore acreage in the Canterbury, Pegasus, Deepwater Taranaki and New Caledonia Basins.

In 2014, Anadarko drilled two exploration wells: one in the Deepwater Taranaki Basin and one in the Canterbury Basin, using a Noble Corp. drillship.

If proven true, Anadarko will be the second oil company in less than three months to relinquish a license offshore New Zealand.

As a reminder, Norwegian oil firm Statoil in October said it would stop its efforts to find oil and gas in the Reinga Basin, offshore New Zealand.

The company was awarded two exploration permits (PEP55781 and PEP57057) for the Reinga Basin in 2013 and 2014. The permits are located around 85 kilometers off the West Coast of Northland.

Statoil New Zealand Country Manager Brynjulv Kløve then said: “After studying 2D seismic data of the search area for the past three years, we think the chance of making a large oil or gas discovery is small, so we have decided to conclude our exploration work in Northland and return those exploration permits to the Crown.”

“Dropping like flies”

Greenpeace spokesperson Steve Abel said Anadarko’s Pegasus Basin withdrawal is “just another example that the Government’s oil drilling agenda in dire straights.”

“They’re dropping like flies,” he says. “One of the supposed-cornerstones of this Government’s economic strategy is its oil program, but it is totally failing with no new oil found in eight years of searching.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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