WELLINGTON -- New Zealand’s Energy and Resources Ministry is inviting bids for six new exploration blocks across the Reinga basin off the country’s northwest coast. The area on offer, covering 105,230 sq km (40,629 sq mi), is said to be geologically contiguous with the hydrocarbon-producing Taranaki basin. It is also adjacent to the Northland basin, itself currently open for bidding.
This is the first time the Reinga basin has been opened up for exploration. "It is one of the most prospective frontier basins in the New Zealand region with all the elements required for an active petroleum system present over a large area, says Energy Minister Brownlee. “To support exploration of this virgin frontier basin area, the Government acquired 2,026 km (1,259 mi) of 2D seismic data over the Reinga basin in early 2009, as part of its Data Acquisition Program.” A further 3,886 km (2,414 mi) of 2D seismic data is available from CGGVeritas.
Over the coming months, the Crown Minerals agency will be promoting the Reinga basin and Northland basin bid rounds to companies in Australia, North America, Europe, and Asia. Elsewhere, the offshore Raukumara Block Offer is due to close this month, while the offshore Northland round will close at the same time as the Reinga Block Offer on Aug. 18, 2010.