Approval process for offshore drilling

Find out what approvals are needed before drilling for oil and gas in the EEZ.

Operators wanting to drill for oil and gas in New Zealand waters must first get the following approvals:

  • An exploration or mining permit from NZP&M
  • Marine consents from the EPA (for drilling in the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf) and/or a resource consent from a regional council (for drilling in Territorial waters)
  • Marine discharge consents from the EPA for the release of harmful substances into the waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone and the waters above the Continental Shelf
  • Approval of an Emergency Spill Response Plan from the EPA for harmful substances spills
  • Approval of a safety case by WorkSafe NZ
  • Approval of OSCP from MNZ for oil spills.

Steps to gaining approval to drill offshore

 Graphic showing the steps to gain approval for offshore petroleum drilling