Steps to operating in NZ’s offshore waters

A number of stages are involved when operators want to carry out exploration and production activities for petroleum and minerals in the waters around New Zealand.

Exploration and production stages

In this section you can read about each of the stages in detail:

1: Assessing the seabed

Operators must seek approval to search for petroleum or minerals and comply with EEZ regulations and the seismic code of conduct.

Read about assessing the seabed

2: Exploration

A rigorous approval process must be completed before an operator can begin the exploration process. The conditions of these consents will be monitored and enforced.

Read about exploration

3: Production

Operators need specific approval before entering the production phase. This includes a publicly notified application process for a marine consent that provides the opportunity for the public to make submissions.

Read about production

4: Ongoing monitoring

Operators will be monitored and authorities will take enforcement action if any conditions are breached.

Read about ongoing monitoring

5: Crisis management

In the unlikely event of a major oil spill, NZ's oil spill response strategy sets out how a crisis would be managed. Any operator who causes an oil spill is liable for all costs involved in the response.

Read about crisis management

6: Decommissioning

Authorisation is needed before steps are taken to retire a production facility. This includes providing a revised safety case for approval.

Read about decommissioning