New Zealand on Verge of Oil Boom


". . .New Zealand is about to have an oil bonanza bigger than that of Britain's North Sea oil boom."

A visiting oil expert says New Zealand is about to have an oil bonanza bigger than that of Britain's North Sea oil boom.

Already, production in the Taranaki Basin is enough to make oil the country's third largest exporter in terms of revenue, President of Buechler Capital Asset Management, William Buechler says.

With the addition of a few more fields he believes it could become New Zealand's second biggest earner.

In Buechler's opinion there is "a lot" more oil to be found in New Zealand; though he cautioned against the country pegging its expectations on reserves in the Great Southern Basin, off the southern coast of the South Island.

"If they can find some more oil away from that area where there's currently production, I think that's significant for the future. It means that there may be oil in many other places," he says.

"I don't think you're dependent on the Great South Basin being the home run. I think there's lots of other areas that may be just as important in the future," he says.

He says access to the Great Southern Basin's reserves is challenged by depth, as well as extreme weather and marine conditions.

He says there may be similar pay-offs in more accessible areas, perhaps off Northland, the Raukumara Basin and Canterbury.

He is anticipating positive results from the New Zealand government's seismic exploration program and believes it will make it easier for overseas companies to assess exploration opportunities in New Zealand.

This, he believes, will drive participation from major U.S. companies.

He suggests government tax credits or financing could further encourage offshore investment.

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