Port to bid if oil, gas found

South Canterbury Herald - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - BEN AU­LAKH

The South Can­ter­bury econ­omy could be set to ben­e­fit to the tune of mil­lions of dol­lars and thou­sands of jobs if oil and gas ex­trac­tion off the Oa­maru coast goes ahead.

Last week min­er­als firm New Zealand Oil and Gas, (NZOG) re­leased the Bar­que Field De­vel­op­ment Eco­nomic Im­pact As­sess­ment.

The re­port ex­am­ined the po­ten­tial for min­eral ex­trac­tion from the Bar­que Prospect, an oil and gas field 60 kilo­me­tres off the Oa­maru coast.

The re­port touted the pos­si­bil­ity of 5 tril­lion cu­bic feet of gas and light oil in the field, with the po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate $15 bil­lion in GDP, and $32b in roy­al­ties and taxes over its life.

In ad­di­tion to cre­at­ing 5700 jobs ev­ery year dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase, the re­port also es­ti­mated cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture of be­tween $40 mil­lion and $150m by Ti­maru’s PrimePort, to cre­ate the nec­es­sary ex­trac­tion and sup­port fa­cil­i­ties.

PrimePort chief ex­ec­u­tive Phil Mel­hopt said it would ‘‘ab­so­lutely’’ put up a ten­der to pro­vide sup­port ser­vices dur­ing the ini­tial sur­vey­ing and pos­si­ble sub- se­quent ex­trac­tion phase.

In the as­sess­ment, two pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios for ex­trac­tion from the field were ex­plored. One was for oil and gas to be ex­tracted and sep­a­rated off­shore. The oil would be put onto ves­sels and di­rectly ex­ported, with a po­ten­tial yield of 460 mil­lion bar­rels of oil dur­ing a 35-year pe­riod from 2025 on­wards.

The sec­ond sce­nario was for gas to be ex­tracted via 14 pro­duc­tion wells and piped to shore, de­liv­er­ing a long-term, re­li­able gas sup­ply. In the re­port, PrimePort Ti­maru and Port Otago were listed as ‘‘pos­si­ble ser­vice hubs un­der both de­vel­op­ment sce­nar­ios’’.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the off­shore sce­nario would re­quire $40m of in­vest­ment in Ti­maru’s port.

It was es­ti­mated a seven-year con­struc­tion phase would in­volve NZOG and PrimePort spend­ing an av­er­age of $204m each year di­rectly on ac­tiv­i­ties and busi­nesses based in the re­gion.

The on­shore sce­nario, which would re­quire cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture of $150 mil­lion, was mod­elled by the re­port as be­ing ser­viced from PrimePort Ti­maru, ‘‘which will pro­vide per­ma­nent berth and stor­age fa­cil­i­ties for a sup­ply ship’’.

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