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Oil and gas big driver of marine economy

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/10/2016

New Zealand's oil and gas industry provided the nation with a bigger economic boost than shipping, fisheries and aquaculture combined, a new report has found.

Mineral extractions, led by oil and gas, added $2 billion to the country's gross domestic product in 2013, the marine economy: 2007-13 report released by Statistics New Zealand on Thursday said

This accounted for 48 per cent of New Zealand's marine economic activity, while shipping accounted for 24 per cent and fisheries and aquaculture 22 per cent.

The country's marine economy contributed $4 billion in total to gross domestic product in 2013.

Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand chief executive Cameron Madgwick said he expected further growth because the country was under-explored by international standards.

"Oil and gas production is concentrated in Taranaki, but there is genuine international excitement about New Zealand's petroleum potential with exploration currently occurring off the east coasts of both the North and South Islands," he said.

"Taranaki is just one of 17 sedimentary basins that surround New Zealand and geologists agree that all of these basins have the potential to have similar deposits of oil and gas to that found in Taranaki."

"However ... we will not know exactly what resources exist, in what quantity, and where until exploration data is collected and analysed."

Mr Madgwick said oil and gas production had a minor impact on New Zealand's marine environment.

In a companion report released on the same day by Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry for Environment, authorities warned the country's marine animals and environment were under threat.

Environment Secretary Vicky Robertson said 90 per cent of native seabirds and shorebirds were threatened with or at risk of extinction, while more than a quarter of native marine mammals were threatened with extinction.

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