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Oil and gas

Oil and gas (petroleum) are important to the New Zealand economy. Oil is already a major export earner for the country, and gas is an important input into our domestic economy.

The government wants New Zealand to be a highly attractive global destination for petroleum exploration and production investment, so that we can develop the full potential of our petroleum resources. Significant discoveries will help boost New Zealand’s foreign earnings and domestic gas supplies.

The government is focused on striking a balance between protecting the environment and economic development. It is important that all petroleum exploration and production activities have rigorous environmental and safety controls to manage risks, prevent harm to people and to minimise effects on the environment.

Petroleum Action Plan

The aim of the eight actions of the Petroleum Action Plan is to maximise the gains from the responsible development of New Zealand’s petroleum resources.

Read more about Petroleum Action Plan

Petroleum expert reports

These reports were commissioned to gain a better understanding of New Zealand's petroleum resources.

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Review of the Crown Minerals Act regime

The government has reviewed the Crown Minerals Act 1991, and supporting Minerals Programmes and associated regulations. The Crown Minerals Amendment Act 2013, and new Minerals Programmes and regulations, commences on 24 May 2013.

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Improving information on petroleum reserves

Action 4 of the Petroleum Action Plan: the government consulted on options for improving information provision in 2010. This action is being progressed through the review of the Crown minerals regime.

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Offshore petroleum health, safety and environmental (HSE) legislation review

Action 8 of the Petroleum Action Plan: completed in 2010, progress on review recommendation is being made through a number of initiatives.

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Peak oil

Peak oil refers to the point at which global oil production will reach its maximum output (or "peak") and thereafter begin to decline.

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Last updated 13 October 2014

Related websites

NZ Petroleum & Minerals