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Anadarko drill ship Noble Bob Douglas has begun test drilling 65km off the coast of the Otago Peninsula.
The search for gas and oil has millions of dollars worth of potential for the city - either Dunedin or Invercargill - chosen as the support base.
Southland Chamber of Commerce
Southland has set its sight on becoming the ''Taranaki'' of the South Island. The region is actively pursuing a policy of positioning itself to be the hub for offshore activity as exploration companies look to unlock the potential of the Great South Basin.
The top 10 key advantages that Southland is able to provide when it comes to meeting the requirements of an exploration or production base are:
• 1. Regional experience and capability: In the 1970s and 1980s Southland was the service base for the Hunt Petroleum rigs which operated in the Great South Basin. In recent times (2007 to 2009) Southland serviced the needs of seismic vessels carrying out data acquisition in the Great South Basin.
• 2. Extensive lay down storage areas exist directly on the port.
• 3. Refuelling and provision for diesel supplies for rig operation more accessible than at other competitor ports.
• 4. Support vessels require about 8m draft and this is comfortably provided at South Port.
• 5. Wide selection of dedicated service berths available.
• 6. South Port has established expertise handling project cargoes.
• 7. Regional engineering resource: The region boasts more than 900 skilled engineers and has a more extensive engineering resource as a result of companies servicing the aluminium smelter and the meat-processing, dairy and forestry industries over several decades.
• 8. Full ''one-stop'' support service: The Southland Energy Consortium was created in 2007 and brings together the region's broad range of technical expertise and allows a platform for collaboration such as engineering, port and marine services, transport logistics, hospitality plus hydraulic and geological services.This platform allows Southland businesses to work collectively while also providing potential exploration companies or investors with direct access to relevant sectors through a single port of call.
• 9. Cohesive local government support: Southland's local government representatives have always touted their support for potential gas production in the GSB and they have a reputation of being willing to try harder to address the needs of new commercial ventures while still meeting the requirements of their local stakeholders.
• 10. ''Can-do'' attitude: Southland is the highest-producing region per capita in the New Zealand.
Otago Chamber of Commerce
Dunedin is one of the world's great small cities. It provides an excellent opportunity for any business to be based here as the city has many advantages to offer.
Ten reasons why Dunedin should be chosen is too restrictive as there are far more attributes that we could highlight.
• 1. Large diversity of services to accommodate the needs of the industry, including a skilled engineering sector.
• 2. Excellent fit with a robust Economic Development Strategy that has been developed across a wide range of business partners.
• 3. The availability of industrial land suitable for the industry in convenient locations in the city.
• 4. Excellent support services for healthcare, including a world-renowned medical school, dental school and access to first-class medical treatment both public and private.
• 5. Dunedin has a historic, cultural and physical identity which provides an enviable lifestyle including: the largest concentration of heritage buildings, outstanding natural beauty and wildlife, first-class leisure facilities and infrastructure, a creative, educated, multicultural and innovative community.
• 6. Connectivity with many quality links by digital infrastructure, road, rail, international airport and international port facilities to enable the transfer of goods, services, people, knowledge and technology.
• 7. Range of quality accommodation available including hotels, motels and residential properties.
• 8. Central proximity to all prospects from Canterbury Basin down to the Great South Basin.
• 9. The University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, which both have a reputation for high quality education, innovation and research.
• 10. A proactive and supportive business community.