New Zealand-based energy company Todd Energy’s Todd Exploration Management Services has been awarded a license for an onshore exploration block in Taranaki basin.

The 10-year exploration permit, which covers an area of 105km² east of Inglewood, has been granted as a result of Blocks Offer 2018 tender.

New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals, which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, has assessed the bid procedure of the block.

Restricted to the Taranaki region, the release area for Block Offer 2018 covers 2,188km².

New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment said in a statement: “It followed a law change in November 2018 that gave effect to the government’s announcement that it would no longer grant offshore petroleum exploration permits and would restrict future block offers to the onshore Taranaki region.

“The change to legislation also prohibits access to conservation land as part of the Block Offer process, except for minimum impact activities.”

Permit excludes land listed in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act

The permit, however, excludes land listed in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act, World Heritage sites, or areas of importance to Māori identified in section 3.1 of the Petroleum Programme such as Mount Taranaki and the Pouakai, Pukeiti and Kaitake Ranges.

In Taranaki basin, Todd Energy has a 100% equity stake in three permits and holds a stake in another permit in partnership with an undisclosed exploration company.

In August 2017, Todd Energy acquired 50% of Kapuni natural gas-condensate field in the Taranaki Basin from Shell, becoming the sole owner and operator of the field.