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Getting a permit

This section provides an overview of New Zealand’s petroleum permitting process as well as a toolbox with links to information and applicant forms.

 

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (NZP&M) is the Government department that issues permits to prospect, explore or mine petroleum in New Zealand. 

Key legislation and supporting documents relating to New Zealand’s petroleum permitting regime include:

 

There are three main types of permits:

  • Prospecting permit - This allows for low-impact general investigations of an area, such as geophysical and geochemical surveys and sampling by hand.  They generally cover a broad area to enable the company to assess where more focused investigations should be undertaken.   
  • Having a prospecting permit does not mean the applicant has the subsequent right to any other petroleum permit type.  They are not granted for areas already permitted for exploration or mining. Furthermore they may be non-exclusive, which means there may be more than one permit over the area.
  • Exploration permit – This enables an applicant to identify petroleum deposits, conduct geological and geophysical surveying, exploration and appraisal drilling, as well as testing of these discoveries. 
  • Mining permits – This gives the applicant the right to develop and produce from a petroleum field.

 

Allocation methods for exploration permits:

  • Competitive Block Offers (publically released and advertised by NZP&M). PEP Block Offer is a method of allocation by public tender. It is utilised on the basis that areas for exploration can be strategically identified and promoted by the Government and that resulting competitive interest in the exploration permits will result in the PEP being obtained by the person/company most likely to effectively and efficiently  prospect, explore  and development the resource.

Farm-ins may be promoted by companies from time-to-time as investment and trading opportunities allow.

  • There are minimal restrictions on transfers of interest in permits or licences provided that it is considered the farm-in party will fulfil the conditions of the permit or licence.  Section 41 of the Crown Minerals Act 1991 (CMA) sets out the requirements of obtaining consent from the Minister for transfers and other dealings with permits.
  • For Section 41 Forms  

 

Petroleum Permit Tool Box

 
  Prospecting Permit Exploration Permit

 Mining Permit

Purpose For conducting reconnaissance and general investigations of an area To identify petroleum deposits and evaluate the feasibility of mining any discoveries made  

For development of a petroleum field to allow the extraction and production of petroleum

ActivitiesMinimum impact activities Geological and geophysical surveying, exploration and appraisal drilling and testing of petroleum discoveries Mining operations relevant to the extraction and development of petroleum 
Download application forms here Download Prospecting form

Download exploration form.

View Block offer information

Download mining form 
Information required to complete 
  • Permit details
  • Technical qualifications and financial resources of the applicant
  • Map of the permit area
  • Geology of permit area
  • Results of any previous prospecting and exploration work in relation to the permit area
  • The plays or plays to be addressed in the permit and description of critical risks.
  • Proposed minimum work programme including objectives, estimated costs, technical rationale, milestones & deliverables. 
  • Applicant information
  • Permit details
  • Technical qualifications and financial resources of the applicant
  • Map of the permit area
  • Geology of permit area
  • Results of any previous prospecting and exploration work in relation to the permit area
  • The plays or plays to be addressed in the permit and description of critical risks.
  • Proposed work programme.
  • Corporate, financial and technical deatils, rationale, milestones & deliverables.
  • View further information in block offer details 
  • Applicant information
  • Permit details
  • Technical qualifications and financial resources of the applicant
  • Map of the permit area
  • Report that sets out the reserves and proposed work programme for the development of the field concerned and includes information described in Schedule 3 of the Regulations. 
Cost of application click here for current costclick here for current costClick here for current cost
AllocationNon-competitive applications may be made over available areas  

Competitive: Petroleum Exploration Permit Blocks Offer  

View 2012 draft invitation to bid document.

Subsequent to an exploration permit, following extensive appraisal programme and preparation of a work programme for development and mining of a discovery.  
Rights Non-exclusive
No subsequent rights 
Exclusive
Subsequent rights to apply for a mining permit 
Exclusive 
Duration Up to 1 year  
  • Up to 5 years
  • Renewal of 5 years over a maximum of 50% of the original area
  • Appraisal extension of up to 4 years possible  
Up to 40 years, related to size of discovery and rate of production. 
Size No size limit  Blocks Offer:  Defined by NZP&M in Block offer documentation.  Related to extent of discovery 
Process for Evaluation of applications.  Refer to Minerals Programme for Petroleum Chapter 5. Refer to Minerals Programme for Petroleum Chapter 5.  Refer to Minerals Programme for Petroleum Chapter 5.  
Key links 

 

 

 

 

Permit evaluation

The evaluation of permit applications varies depending on the type of permit but includes detailed assessment of the following elements:

  • Applicant history and background,
  • Technical and financial elements of their application
  • Proposed work programme.

The evaluation process is outlined in detail for each permit type in the Minerals Programme for Petroleum Chapter 5.