A better understanding is needed of the issues oil and gas exploration present for Dunedin, Mayor Dave Cull says.
Political parties are rushing to begin their respective campaigns on deepwater oil and gas exploration around New Zealand as the latest round of offshore oil and gas block tenders opens on May 24.
Offshore oil and gas exploration consents will not need to be publicly notified, in another move by the Government to entice major oil companies to New Zealand's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The Government is pushing on with its programme of encouraging oil and gas exploration around New Zealand with the release yesterday of its second round to attract competing bids for exploration permits.
Oil and gas explorer Shell says its chances of undertaking a $200 million exploratory drilling programme in the Great South Basin are 50:50, with a decision expected within months.
Safety and potential economic benefits were back on the agenda when talk of oil and gas exploration resumed in Dunedin yesterday.
The man heading Shell New Zealand's Great South Basin gas exploration project has described a community engagement meeting in Invercargill on Tuesday as ''positive from all sides''.
Shell, which is 70% of the way through assessing its $80 million of data on Great South Basin gas prospects, will probably announce by mid-2013 if it will fund a southern deep-water drilling programme.
All eyes will be turning to deep-water oil exploration plans in the frontier Great South Basin and Canterbury Basin after Brazilian oil giant Petrobras yesterday shelved plans for up to $300 million worth of North Island exploration. There was a high-profile campaign by East Cape iwi Te Whanau a Apanui, Greenpeace and other groups last year against Petrobras' exploration of the Raukumara Basin.
Dunedin businesses, and several city councillors, are throwing their arms wide open to oil exploration giant Anadarko.
Publicly notified consents should not be required for offshore oil and gas exploration activities within New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), according to the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association.
Even if Anadarko strikes oil next year, it would be at least seven or eight years before there is any benefit for Dunedin, the company says.
Exploration for oil and gas off the coast of Otago and Southland is entering its next phase, with tenders closing in mid-October for onshore and offshore exploration blocks.
Northern Southland is being targeted as a potential oil and gas exploration area and the Government and Environment Southland are to brief Waimea Valley residents next week.
The company behind an oil-drilling operation on Stewart Island which has horrified some residents says the proposal was developed following an "extensive process of consultation" with the local community.
Commercial interest in the oil and natural gas resources lying off the coast of Otago has prompted Niwa to bring forward the first detailed survey of the Great Southern Basin seabed.
Government legislation on what is allowed in New Zealand's exclusive economic zone is seriously flawed and betrays the spirit of public consultation, writes Greenpeace's Nathan Argent.
Concern about deep-sea oil exploration off the Otago coast has been raised by the Green Party, which claims the Otago Regional Council, Dunedin City Council and the public have been left out of consultations.
Austrian oil giant OMV and its majority joint venture partner Shell New Zealand will begin their next seaborne seismic data acquisition programme in the Great South Basin this week, part of an overall $50 million programme.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp may have put off plans to drill for oil and gas off the coast of New Zealand, but it will still meet the Dunedin City Council next week.