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New Zealand halts offshore exploration

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced no new offshore oil and gas exploration permits will be granted in order to address climate change.

“There will be no further offshore oil and gas exploration permits granted,” said Ms Ardern.

Minister for Energy and Resources Dr Megan Woods said no current projects will be affected by the changes.

“We are protecting existing exploration and mining rights. No current jobs will be affected by this as we are honouring all agreements with current permit holders,” said Dr Woods.

“There are 31 oil and gas exploration permits currently active, 22 are offshore. These permits cover an area of 100,000 sq kms, nearly the size of the North Island, and run as far out as 2030 and could go an additional 40 years under a mining permit.”

This years’ New Zealand block offers will be limited to the onshore Taranaki Basin, on the North Island.

“This is a responsible step which provides certainty for businesses and communities that rely on fossil fuels,” said Ms Ardern.

“We’re striking the right balance for New Zealand – we’re protecting existing industry, and protecting future generations from climate change.”

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