NZOG buys into deepwater Taranaki permit, builds Anadarko relationship

BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand Oil & Gas has bought into a deepwater exploration permit in the Taranaki basin, building its relationship with Texan explorer Anadarko.

The Wellington-based company will pay $US9.5 million in three tranches for a 6.7% stake in the permit off the Taranaki coast, it says. It has agreed to acquire 6.1% from Global Resources Holdings and 0.6% from Randall C Thompson LLC, subject to certain conditions and ministerial consent.

The permit is the first granted over the deepwater extension in the Taranaki Basin, covering 16,380sq km, with a drilling deadline of September 30 next year.

Anadarko holds half the permit and is the operator, while Hyundai Hysco owns a third. Global Resources and Randall C Thompson will each keep 5%.

Anadarko is aiming to bring a drillship to New Zealand in the 2013-14 drilling season.

NZOG scuttled its option to drill the deepwater Barque project off the Canterbury coast after failing to find farm-in profits and after a review determined the risk profile was too high. That permit was adjacent to a licence area held by Origin Energy and Anadarko.

NZOG shares fell 0.6% to 84.5 cents and have climbed 20% this year.

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Further confirmation that NZOG is going through a positive metamorphosis into NZ's leading exploration and production company.

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