Oil reserves target met

  • Gerry Brownlee
Energy and Resources

Minister of Energy and Resources Gerry Brownlee today announced that New Zealand had secured oil reserves for 2009 that would ensure New Zealand would continue to meet its International Energy Agency (IEA) obligation to hold 90 days of the previous year's net imports.

"The 90 day target is part of the New Zealand's obligations as a member of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and New Zealand has been in compliance with the target since 1 January 2007," Mr Brownlee said.

The requirement for additional oil reserves to meet the 90-day target has declined over the past three years as New Zealand's domestic production of crude and condensate has increased. Production may increase further with the streaming of the Maari oil field next year which may avoid the need for any additional reserves in 2010.  The Government intends to further promote exploration and production of oil and gas in New Zealand.

The additional oil reserves have been secured through a global tender. The stocks are held under 'ticket' contracts, which provide the Government with an option to purchase petroleum in the event of an IEA-declared emergency.

Tickets have been secured for 107,000 tonnes of crude oil and petrol for 2009. They cover stock held in Japan and the United Kingdom. This volume compares with additional reserves of 285,000 tonnes in 2008 and 461,000 tonnes held in 2007.

New Zealand's total 90 days obligation for 2009 is 1.0 million tonnes (down from 1.4 million tonnes in 2007 and 1.2 million tonnes in 2008). The majority of these reserves are commercial stocks held by companies in the petroleum sector.

The Government has entered into bilateral arrangements with the governments of Australia, Japan, the UK and the Netherlands which enable stocks held in those countries to be counted towards New Zealand's IEA obligations. The arrangements require New Zealand to seek approvals for proposed quantities of tickets and include an undertaking by the host government not to impede release of stocks to New Zealand in the event of an emergency. 

"I am very pleased that New Zealand will continue to be in full compliance with its IEA obligations," Mr Brownlee said.

"I would also like to thank the governments of Japan and the UK for their help and cooperation to enable New Zealand to meet its stock holding obligations," Mr Brownlee concluded.