Drill it, extract it, sell it: $32 billion in royalties for the New Zealand taxpayer

The potential of a new massive gas field off the South Island’s east coast could create 5700 jobs and bring in $32 billion in royalties, the firm behind the field says.

But environmental groups say the science is clear and we should not be looking for new fossil fuels at all.

New Zealand Oil & Gas said earlier this year the Barque prospect, 60 kilometres off the Oamaru coast, held potentially more gas than previously thought.

On Monday, the company released a report showing it had the potential to add $7.1b annually to the national economy, and $32b in royalties and taxes over the life of the field.

NZOG is the operator of the Clipper joint venture, where the Barque prospect is situated.

The company acknowledged it had a one in five chance of success if drilling proceeded.

But if successful, the field could virtually double New Zealand’s oil and gas production, chief executive Andrew Jefferies said.

As well as jobs, it could create a gas market in the South Island and reduce New Zealand’s reliance on overseas-made fertiliser and methanol.

“We believe natural gas from New Zealand would be better for the globe than alternative energy sources such as Canadian tar sands, Venezuelan bitumen or coal-bed methane from Australia,” he said.

New Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said she was seeking advice on the economic and broader environmental aspects of the field and hoped to make a statement soon.

I don’t blame Megan Woods for trying to get a little more information before opening her gob, something the Finance Minister could learn from.  But it will have to be an enormous environmental risk to decline $32 billion in free money.

As we all know, we have similar platforms operating off the Taranaki Coast and whatever impact those have had on the environment, nobody is complaining about it other than the imagined threat to less than 100 dolphins which are almost never there but were once seen there so they could theoretically, when everything goes wrong at the same time, you know, on principle, we shouldn’t really, after all, gas is a pollutant and not renewable, and then there….

Oh, hang on.  $32 Billion.

Let’s get started.


– Stuff

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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