“One of our immediate priorities is putting together an investment strategy for minerals and petroleum, to get more explorers down here and to get them to be as active as possible,” Feeley told EnergyReview.Net from Wellington.
“A new investment strategy is perhaps the least tangible, but is one of the most pressing things facing Crown Minerals post review," he said, referring to last year’s restructuring of the Ministry of Economic Development unit.
“The blocks offers, the upcoming petroleum conference are part of that strategy, but we need to consider what further incentives are needed, if only to bridge the gap between Maui and future supplies.
“The run down of Maui looms large within everybody in government.”
No major players had asked for the petroleum royalty regime to be changed, though Feeley agreed with former Shell New Zealand chairman Lloyd Taylor, who late last year told ERN that there were several things the government could consider “around the margins”.
“Time specific, short term incentives cannot be dismissed out of hand, though some reasonably significant explorers have made comment that New Zealand suffers no inherent disadvantages.”
Feeley agreed with Taylor that fine tuning measures, including greater industry co-operation, could go some way to overcoming the “tyranny of distance” that New Zealand suffered.
Late last year ERN reported that the Petroleum Exploration Association of New Zealand was thrilled the government was considering easing tax burdens on offshore rigs - to make it easier for rigs to stay longer than 183 days.
And it is known several government departments and Peanz are presently discussing this matter, with one option being the granting of an exemption to encourage multi-well, multi-consortium programs.
The Crown Resources group is responsible for managing petroleum, coal and minerals and the radio spectrum. “There is a great deal of synergy between the two, with the Radio Group responsible for everything above the ground and Crown Minerals responsible for everything beneath the ground.
“We want to improve how we manage both, for a fairer return from both,” Feeley concluded.