We note with interest the recent judicial review of NZP&M's decision (on behalf of the Minister) to decline Greymouth Petroleum's application for an offshore exploration permit (as part of the 2017 block offer – the last time such permits were offered). The judicial review resulted in a partial win for Greymouth, with the Court quashing the decision by NZP&M to decline the award of the permit.
NZP&M was also asked to reassess the application and Greymouth's proposed work programme on the basis of the law at the time the application was made, that is, prior to the offshore exploration ban by the Government in 2018. Greymouth’s challenge to the lawfulness of that ban was dismissed however. While this does not mean that Greymouth will be granted a permit following the reassessment, it is heartening for industry participants to know that they can rely on the law as it stands at the relevant time when dealing with the Government.
In order to attract investment in the sector, it is important that participants have confidence in the value of their investment and the stability of Government policy in this sector. Ongoing exploration and production will be key to supporting New Zealand's energy security.
The team at Russell McVeagh continues to support investors in the sector, including when we acted for Origin Energy on the sale of their stake in the Kupe oil and gas assets in New Zealand. Please get in touch with our experts below if you would like to discuss how this relates to you and your organisation.
This article is intended only to provide a summary of the subject covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained in this publication without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any advice or further information on the subject matter of this newsletter, please contact the partner/solicitor in the firm who normally advises you, or alternatively contact one of the partners listed below.