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In New Zealand, offshore drilling was resumed and carried out partly with 2 rigs. Four complete and one part well were drilled to a total depth of 12,219.5 m. All were abandoned, but gas and slight oil shows were encountered in 3. Onshore drilling amounted to 17,606 m, 4 development wells (all gas-condensate producers) in the Kapuni field, and 2 attempts to revive the small Moturoa oil field. No geophysical surveys were made. Production was 51 MMCFGD, an increase of 1.6%, and 3,900 b/d of condensate, up 2.8%. Development of the offshore Maui field went ahead on schedule, the tower of the first production platform being ready at year end for upending at the platform site. Concession areas further decreased. They now cover 6,535 sq mi (16,926 sq km) on land, and 234,997 sq i (608,642 sq km) offshore. For some of the offshore licenses the government has entered into an agreement including a 40% participation in exploration cost, in return for a 51% interest and a 2-year extension of the license. New legislation (Petroleum Amendment Act 1975) was passed by Parliament.
In Tonga, negotiations for the granting of concession rights over 3,000 sq mi (7,770 sq km) in southern Tonga were well under way; the remaining areas of the Kingdom remain open for applications.
In Fiji, only 2 license areas still are held by companies, but both will expire in 1976. All other areas currently are available for application.
In New Hebrides and Solomon Islands, in the absence of legislation, no licenses have been granted or are available. However, prospects do exist particularly between and around the Solomon Islands where sedimentary basins contain a Senonian to recent sedimentary section several kilometers thick.
In Papua New Guinea, exploration has increased greatly. Seismic and gravity surveys were conducted and 3 wildcats (all dry) were completed and 1 was drilling at year end; total drilling was 10,614.40 m. Activity on the acreage front was high, with many land changes in several areas, and a farm-in in the Papuan basin.
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