Red tape chokes NZ oil field

DELAYS in granting field operator Greymouth Petroleum a petroleum mining licence have seen flows from New Zealand's historic Moturoa oil field at Port Taranaki, New Plymouth all but dried up.
Red tape chokes NZ oil field Red tape chokes NZ oil field Red tape chokes NZ oil field Red tape chokes NZ oil field Red tape chokes NZ oil field

"The exploration permit has lapsed and we are still waiting to hear from Crown Minerals on our production licence request," Greymouth chief operating officer John Sturgess told

"We legally can't really do anything on the ground till that gets sorted out."

Greymouth applied for a 40-year petroleum mining permit last November covering 53.65 square kilometres, almost identical to its exploration licence PEP 38464 that expired the same month.

This was after Greymouth had drilled a third well, Moturoa-7, and some sidetracks, from the port wellsite location to appraise under western parts of the city and out to sea.

It drilled Moturoa-6 and 7 in late 2006 and early 2007, and these wells initially flowed naturally from multiple shallow zones, though the waxy crude later needed pumping to continue commercial flows.

Rates in excess of 200 barrels per day were recorded.

However, while the Moturoa wells remain shut-in, Greymouth continues to get up to 30 barrels every week or so from the nearby Republic New Plymouth-4 (RNP-4) well that it brought back into production in 2000, using a nodding donkey for lifting the oil.

Greymouth holds a 98% interest and local Maori Ngati Te Whiti Hapu Society a 2% carried interest in the area.

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