New Zealand Set to Scrap Oil, Gas Exploration Ban in Second Half


New Zealand’s government is pressing ahead with plans to lift a ban on offshore petroleum exploration, citing energy security challenges from “rapidly” declining natural gas reserves.

Gas is “critical” for the economy during periods of peak electricity demand and when generation dips from more intermittent sources such as wind, solar and hydropower, Resources Minister Shane Jones said in a statement on Sunday.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon’s administration had pledged to resume offshore oil and gas prospecting following last October’s election. Officials are also trying to speed up the construction of renewable plants.

The end of the moratorium will be proposed in Crown Minerals Act amendments to be introduced in parliament in the second half of 2024, according to the statement. Green Party co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick criticized the move, saying lifting the ban is a “severe” backward step amid a “climate crisis.”

New Zealand stopped offshore oil and gas exploration permits in 2018 under then-leader Jacinda Ardern but continued to allow onshore projects.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Sunil Jagtiani


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the best of Energy Connects directly to your inbox each week.

By subscribing, you agree to the processing of your personal data by dmg events as described in the Privacy Policy.

Back To Top