Westside snaps up offshore permit in New Zealand

Westside New Zealand Limited has been granted one 12-year offshore permit in the Taranaki Basin, offshore New Zealand. The permit PEP 60402 has an area of 547 square kilometres.


The new petroleum exploration permit has been granted as part of Block Offer 2017. This was the only permit awarded in the offer.


According to the New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals petroleum national manager Josh Adams Block Offer 2017 received a number of bids and after “a thorough evaluation by NZP&M,” officials have granted one offshore Taranaki permit to Westside, which also operates two onshore production assets, Rimu and Kauri, in southern Taranaki.


Westside New Zealand Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WestSide Corporation Pty Limited, an oil and gas operator registered in Australia. It is the operator of the Meridian gas field in Queensland, where over 40 new gas wells have been drilled since 2010.


Westside’s ultimate parent company is Landbridge Group Company Limited, based in China. Westside has been operating the onshore Rimu and Kauri production assets in southern Taranaki since late last year, when these were acquired from former operator, Origin Energy.


According to the NZ authorities, since acquiring these permits, Westside has stabilised production from the fields and is currently undertaking work to materially increase oil and gas production.


As for the new permit, current exploration activity on pre-existing permits is continuing.


In 2016-2017, significant investments in seismic acquisition have been made in the Pegasus Basin off the coast of Wairarapa – the largest 3D survey ever acquired in New Zealand, covering over 13,400 square kilometres.


Another 3D survey is currently being undertaken in the Taranaki Basin.