Stat oil continue on with exploration plans despite protest

There's no mistaking the heightened interest of international oil and gas companies in New Zealand, with around 400 of their delegates from around the world attending New Zealand's Petroleum Summit.

Despite the clear message to 'Leave our ocean floor alone' from a crowd of around 600 protesters yesterday, Minster of Energy and Resource Simon Bridges was clear that it's an unrealistic expectation on their part.

Alarm bells were ringing as a small group of anti-oil protesters managed to sneak into the New Zealand Petroleum Summit this morning, while the Minister for Resource and Energy took the podium.

Statoil is a Norwegian Company who has begun its exploration process here in New Zealand.

They were granted an exploration permit for close to 1000km2 in the Northland Basin last November.

Under the Crown Minerals Act, there is an obligation for consultation with the iwi that is indigenous to the area that the permit is sought.

With both added Government and Iwi Leaders Forum support, that aim has been made much more achievable.

With eight new areas for oil and gas exploration opened in the Government's 2014 Block Offer, that number is expected to increase again in the near future.