New Zealand

Statoil has agreed to acquire a 30% working interest in petroleum exploration permit (PEP) 57073 in New Zealand’s offshore East Coast basin from OMV.

Covering an area of 9,800km², the permit lies in water depths of 1,000m-2,000m and is situated next to permits 57083, 57085 and 57087, which were awarded to Chevron and Statoil in 2014.

Following the acquisition, OMV will remain the operator of the permit with a 70% working interest.

Statoil exploration senior vice president Nicholas Alan Maden said: "This is an underexplored area with the potential for multiple plays, offering a considerable exploration upside.

"We now hold a working interest in more than 46,000km² of exploration acreage in New Zealand."

"We now hold a working interest in more than 46,000km² of exploration acreage in New Zealand, and all of these permits have staged exploration programmes. This is in line with our exploration strategy of accessing at scale."

As part of their work on PEP 57073, OMV and Statoil will carry out geological and geophysical studies, as well as seismic acquisition over the coming years.

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Based on the exploration work, the companies will decide in 2021 on making a well commitment in the permit.

OMV New Zealand managing director Peter Zeilinger said: "OMV is excited with our first partnership with Statoil in New Zealand and we intend to build on the good existing relationships that we have with Statoil globally."

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Image: PEP 57073 is situated next to 57083, 57085 and 57087. Photo: courtesy of Statoil.