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New trove of information opens up for oil exploration industry - 27/04/2012

A wide range of new geoscience information has become instantly available to the petroleum exploration industry with the culmination of a two-year project by a team of researchers at GNS Science.

Called the Petroleum Exploration and Geosciences Initiative (PEGI), it comprises 15 research data products designed to enhance knowledge of Taranaki and other key petroleum prospective basins around New Zealand.

The data products are freely available to the oil exploration industry, universities, and independent researchers.

A flagship component of the PEGI project is a new interactive web portal to provide easy access to New Zealand’s petroleum geoscience information.

Called the Petroleum Basin Explorer (PBE), it can be accessed at: http://data.gns.cri.nz/pbe


“At the click of a mouse, users can now discover existing information that was previously hard to find, plus a wide range of new value-added information.”

Dr Kevin Faure


PBE is the interface to access all 15 outputs under the PEGI project.

“Petroleum is New Zealand’s fourth largest export earner and there are large unexplored tracts of our sedimentary basins that could contain significant accumulations of petroleum,” said Director of the Geological Resources Division of GNS Science Kevin Faure.

“If all the geological factors are favourable, then significant accumulations of oil potentially worth trillions of dollars could be waiting to be discovered in New Zealand’s basins, " Dr Faure said.

“The development of these resources would have a very significant impact on New Zealand’s future standard of living.”

Ready access to high quality data was one of the main requirements for exploration companies as they assess whether a region is worth investing in.

The new geoscience information, and the ease with which it can be obtained, would help to significantly reduce the time and effort involved in deciding whether to commit to exploration.

“This project represents a giant leap forward in providing user-friendly information to the exploration industry.

“At the click of a mouse, users can now discover existing information that was previously hard to find, plus a wide range of new value-added information.”

In addition, the new portal had links to other data repositories, including the open-file petroleum archive administered by New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals.

The ultimate aim was to attract new companies to New Zealand as well as helping those already operating here. Increased exploration activity would markedly improve the chances of significant petroleum discoveries.

The PEGI project was a joint venture involving the Ministry of Economic Development and GNS Science. MED provided funding of $4 million and GNS Science provided $3.8 million from various research programme grants. The initiative builds on decades of research by GNS Science undertaken through research contracts with the Ministry of Science and Innovation and its predecessor the Foundation for Research Science and Technology.

A brief description of the 15 data products can be seen here.

The Petroleum Basin Explorer portal provides access to a huge range of information on New Zealand's sedimentary basins.