Important choices ahead for energy sector in transition

Greater flexibility for remaining natural gas permits could help protect our energy security and deliver a smoother transition, according to a post-election energy briefing from the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ). 

“New Zealand’s energy security is at risk. Despite having our own natural gas here in the ground, we could end up reliant on imported LNG from Australia if we aren’t careful,” says PEPANZ Chief Executive John Carnegie.

“As a country the choices we make now will have major impacts given that natural gas production is forecast to shrink 60% over the next 10 years. Already we are seeing many major employers considering their futures in New Zealand in large part due to energy costs.

“We can have a prosperous and sustainable New Zealand as we rebuild from the impacts of Covid-19 if we have affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.

“A more secure supply of domestic natural gas would give us more options as we transition, protect our security of supply and put downward pressure on energy costs for families and businesses.”

To achieve this the report recommends providing more flexibility for petroleum exploration and production permits, which could include extensions of both geographic areas and time limits.

It also supports the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as the best tool for reducing emissions and changes to the RMA and Exclusive Economic Zone Act.