The New Zealand Government has opened the 2016 Block Offer tender for petroleum exploration permits.

The Block Offer includes four offshore release areas and one onshore release area.

The acreage being tendered is:

-16NRN-R1: offshore Northland-Reinga Basin (186,181 km²)

-16TAR-R1: offshore Taranaki Basin (60,978km²)

-16PEC-R1: offshore Pegasus/East Coast Basins (68,662 km²)

-16GSC-R1: offshore Great-South/Canterbury Basins (208,632 km²)

-16TAR-R2: onshore Taranaki Basin (1,062 km²)

Invitation for bids

Bids for exploration permits must show an understanding of the geology of the area and the resource potential they seek to investigate, and include a work programme which lays out the exploration activities they propose to undertake. Bidders must demonstrate they have the technical, financial, health and safety and environmental capability to deliver their proposed work programme.

Bids are invited from companies with a demonstrated ability to explore, develop and produce petroleum responsibly.

The bid evaluation process:

The Invitation for Bids document sets out for bidders:

– the blocks on offer

– the process for making bids

– information required

– how bids will be evaluated

The areas offered in Block Offer 2016 include one onshore and four offshore release areas. Bids can be for a single block or for a combination of contiguous blocks. There is no limit on the number of Bid Areas a Bidder may bid for. Each bid area must be applied for as a separate bid and a separate application fee is payable.

Block Offer 2016 closes at 5pm on 7 September 2016 (New Zealand time). Permits will likely be announced in December 2016 (or some time before the commencement of permits in April 2017).