New Zealand Energy Corp. (CVE:NZ)(OTCQX:NZERF) said Friday it has inked a collaborative agreement with the Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Trust (TRoNRT), representatives of a New Zealand tribe, as the oil and gas explorer advances its petroleum properties in the country.
Ngati Ruanui is the tribe located in South Taranaki on New Zealand's
North Island, the location of New Zealand Energy's Alton and Eltham
petroleum exploration permits.
TroNRT is recognized as the representative body of 16 sub-tribes that
make up Ngati Ruanui, and has the responsibility of managing the
interests of the the tribe for the 8,500 descendants.
Under the terms of the agreement, TRoNRT will support New Zealand
Energy's exploration, development and production activities within the
Ngati Ruanui area, and the company will contribute to positive cultural,
economic and social outcomes for the development of Ngati Ruanui and
The cooperation deal was executed earlier this week at a ceremony in
Stratford, New Zealand, and "outlines the parties' desire to build a
sustainable and enduring relationship that promotes the activities and
prosperity of New Zealand Energy while developing a sustaining and
prosperous environment for TRoNRT", it said in a statement.
"The agreement supports TRoNRT's principles of environmental
stewardship and economic sustainability and underscores NZEC's
commitment to bringing long-term benefits to its community partners."
The agreement also establishes process and communication protocols
between the two parties, with TRoNRT to provide advice and support as
New Zealand Energy moves through the resource consent, permitting and
development process of its properties.
In addition, New Zealand will provide "a right of first opportunity"
to TRoNRT's members for business, employment, educational and training
opportunities in South Taranaki.
"New Zealand Energy's commitment to open communication and mutually
beneficial relationships forms the cornerstone of our strategy for
successful resource development," said New Zealand Energy CEO and
director, John Proust.
"We are proud to be working with TRoNRT and look forward to building a
collaborative relationship that brings long-term benefits to both NZEC
shareholders and our community partners."
David Binnie, general manager of New Zealand Petroleum &
Minerals, the government agency that manages the New Zealand
government's oil, gas, mineral and coal resources, added: "This
agreement represents a big step forward for the development of oil and
gas in Taranaki. I hope that other companies and iwi [tribes] will see
this as a blueprint for agreements elsewhere in New Zealand."
New Zealand Energy controls two permits covering 169,949 net acres in
the Taranaki Basin. The company achieved production in December 2011
from Copper Moki-1, its first discovery well in the Taranaki Basin, and
earlier this week, announced the start of an extended production test
from its Copper Moki-2 well and the start of drilling at its Copper
On Wednesday, the company also said that based on its early
operational success in the Taranaki Basin of New Zealand's North Island,
it has forecast an exit production rate of 3,000 barrels of oil
equivalent (boe) per day for 2012.
The company said the guidance was prepared on the back of production
results disclosed Tuesday, as well as the planned drilling of eight net
additional wells this year.
The forecast also took into account the completion of a natural gas
pipeline, and the "continued performance in line with existing oil and
natural gas production" from its Copper Moki-1 and Copper Moki-2 wells.
At the Copper Moki-2 (CM-2) well, it is producing 42.0 degrees of API
oil, and is currently flowing at a rate of 1,000 barrels of oil per
day, and 820 thousand cubic feet (mcf) of natural gas per day, New
Zealand Energy said.