ADDING yet another feather to its glorious cap, OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned oil and gas explorer ONGC, has for the first time taken interest in New Zealand's oil and gas exploration, a media report said on December 9.
New Zealand awarded 15 oil and gas...exploration licences, with US giant Chevron and India's OVL joining the hunt in the South Pacific country.
New Zealand Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges said it was the most successful round of block offers since the new system for awarding oil and gas exploration territory was instituted in 2012.
Representatives of the company and Indian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Ravi Thakur, were present at the ceremony at the Beehive where the permits were awarded.
This year's award of 15 permits come with committed work programmes over the life of the permits, which extend as far out as 15 years, totalling $110 million.
The next round of proposed blocks for offer will be announced in March, 2015.
OVL has made its first foray into New Zealand with one offshore exploration permit in the Taranaki Basin. The area has several commercially successful oil and gas fields.
"New players continue to enter our market, and existing players cement and expand their work here," Energy Minister Simon Bridges said in a statement.
The awarding of the permits, which are open for between 10 and 15 years, comes at a time when major oil companies such as BP , Shell , Exxon Mobil , and Total are cutting back on exploration, laying off staff and selling assets globally to cope with sliding oil prices.
The permit recipients have committed to various work programmes ranging from geological and seismic surveys through to drilling exploration wells.
Six of the permits awarded were for onshore blocks, including two on the west coast of the South Island, while nine were for offshore blocks. Of the total, seven permits were for exploration in the Taranaki region.ONGC Videsh is India’s largest international oil and gas E&P company. At present, ONGC Videsh has participation in 35 projects in 16 countries including Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Russia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela. ONGC Videsh is currently producing about 160 thousand barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas per day and has total oil and gas reserves of 637 mmtoe as on March 31, 2014.