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Petrobras pulls out of Raukumara Basin

Petrobras pulls out of Raukumara Basin

TVNZ coverage: Petrobras has decided not to proceed with permits it holds for deepwater prospecting off the North Island’s east coast

The Brazilian company was awarded a permit in 2010 to explore 12,000 square kilometres in the Raukumara Basin for gas and oil.

Asked today if he was disappointed Petrobras was not proceeding, Finance Minister Bill English said other companies were interested and committed to oil and gas exploration.

‘Exploration is attractive’

“The government has invested a bit of time and money in making sure it’s attractive – exploration is attractive,” he said.

“The companies are always making their decision in the context of now some quite big shifts in world energy markets with the extensive shale gas finds in the US for instance”.

Local iwi and green groups fought a high profile campaign – even taking to the seas – in a bid to stop Petrobras’s exploration.

Gisborne District Councillor Manu Caddie said he was not surprised the level of public opposition to deep sea drilling got Petrobras worried.

He told Newstalk ZB the idea to prospect for oil in the area was crazy from the outset as it had abundant marine life and locals used it as a food resource.

‘Black gold’

Labour leader David Shearer told Newstalk ZB he had been unaware Petrobas had chosen not to proceed.

However, Shearer said his party supported deep sea drilling as long as appropriate safeguards and criteria were met.

Deep sea drilling could help New Zealand’s economy, he said.

The government has previously said ‘black gold’ could make New Zealand richer by lifting the country’s GDP.

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