The Melbourne-based explorer was recently awarded PEP 38350, a 1901 square kilometre onshore block in southern Wairarapa.
Annells said he believed there was untapped petroleum potential in New Zealand and Lakes had applied for an as-yet unnamed larger permit, covering 2481sq.km, over what the company believed was a northward continuation of the same geology contained in PEP 38350.
“We like New Zealand and I recently took a team over to Wellington, primarily to talk to Crown Minerals about the opportunities we see there and to explain what we mean by tight gas,” he said.
“Ten years ago coal seam methane gas was not well understood in Queensland, now everybody wants to be involved. It’s similar with tight gas and we see opportunities in Australia and now in New Zealand.”
He said non-conventional fields were supplying more gas in several countries, including the US, where tight gas comprised about 10% of all gas used.
Annells said Lakes had been successful with gas plays in Victoria and had seen gas finds with flows as low as 2 million standard cubic feet per day developed in the state's onshore Gippsland Basin. He said in New Zealand the company was aiming for similar success, commercialising small gas finds near infrastructure and population centres.
Vector subsidiary NGC’s high-pressure North Island gas pipeline network runs across Wairarapa, connecting Wellington and the east coast cities of Napier and Hastings.