10 Mar 2012

Heatley to tout NZ at world energy forum

12:06 pm on 10 March 2012

The Energy and Resources Minister says he will seek interest in New Zealand from international prospecting companies at a major overseas energy forum.

Phil Heatley is travelling on Saturday to Kuwait where he will attend the 13th International Energy Forum Ministerial meeting - the world's biggest gathering of energy ministers.

As well as the ministers of 88 countries that account for 90% of global oil and gas supply and demand, big energy companies will also attend.

Mr Heatley says he will meet with exploration companies with credible reputations and experience relevant to New Zealand.

The minister says he wants to raise interest in energy exploration in New Zealand and will also seek investors prepared to do a stocktake of the country's resources and provide information on the cost of exploiting them.

However, he says it is not a matter of forging ahead blindly and exploration will be balanced by safety and environmental concerns.

Mr Heatley says the forum is also a golden opportunity to improve New Zealand's understanding of the major issues and challenges facing the global energy market.

The minister will also make diplomatic calls in Qatar on his way to Kuwait.