Oil exploration in the sea

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The government today announced that there would be no new permits for off-shore oil and gas exploration in New Zealand. Permits for land exploration will still be available, if any company is interested. However, there are 22 active licences at the moment for off-shore exploration and they do not expire until 2030.

In the last 10 years New Zealand has produced anything from 10 to 20 million plus barrels of oil, between 150 to 200 billion cubic feet of gas, and 1 to 2 million barrels of LPG every year. The government has received $300m a year in royalties. Taranaki is the centre for this oil and gas production. It’s on the west coast of the North Island. This exploration provides about 4,000 jobs directly and another 3,000 related jobs.

These jobs will continue for a number of years still, but the government is focusing on having 100% renewable energy by 2035 and being carbon neutral by 2050.

Listen to Action on Climate Change for more about our renewable energy.

Vocabulary

• off-shore – in the ocean
• exploration (n) from the verb to explore – to look for
• permit (n) – licence
• expire (v) – finish, end
• LPG – liquified petroleum gas
• royalties (n) – a tax; the government receives a percentage of what is produced or sold
• renewable energy – can use the same source of energy again and again, e.g. solar, wind, hydro
• carbon neutral – carbon produced equals the amount of carbon used up by trees

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