New Zealand Energy drops block pair

Drop decision: New Zealand Energy scraps east coast drill plans

Canada's New Zealand Energy has decided to relinquish two exploration blocks to conserve working capital for its Taranaki basin plans.

The Vancouver-based company said it would save $13.9 million by dropping prior drill plans for the Castlepoint and Wairoa permits which were to see a well sunk on each licence this year.

Chief executive John Proust said the company would be "focused in the near-term on its Taranaki basin permits that offer near-term production potential”.

New Zealand Energy acquired a trio of licences in the Taranaki basin from Australia's Origin Energy last year.

The explorer had been seeking a funding partner to join it on the blocks in the east coast, where it has retained the East Cape licence and still hopes to unlock potential in the Waipawa black shale.

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