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Oil ban puts New Zealand on a ‘black list’ for investment, service companies claim

Oil ban puts New Zealand on a ‘black list’ for investment, service companies claim

A body representing seismic testing companies is demanding more than $100 million in compensation for its members if the Government passes a ban on issuing new exploration permits.

On Friday the International Agency of Geophysical Contractors presented on the final day of submissions on changes to the Crown Minerals Act to give effect to the ban on new permits the Government announced in April.

IAGC members claim they have invested heavily gathering data on areas not covered by exploration permits. While this has led to claims that the business model is highly speculative, MinterEllison partner Rachel Devine, representing IAGC before the environment select committee, said the Government encouraged companies to seek data to make the block offer process competitive.

“They’ve spent money in reasonable expectation that the regime would be the way it is, it’s been set up to entice them to come in and do these things for the benefit of the New Zealand government,” Devine said, claiming that the legislation would strip the companies of property rights they had spent $104 million acquiring.