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Government unfazed by Petrobras withdrawal

Wednesday 5 Dec 2012 8:32 a.m.

Have the Government's hopes for deep sea drilling off the east coast been blown out of the water now oil giant Petrobras is pulling out of its venture in the Raukumara Basin?

The company's two-and-a-half year search for oil in the area provoked protests and court action from Greenpeace and local iwi.

Energy Minister Phil Heatley is not seeing the withdrawal as a loss, though he would rather the company had stayed.

“They took some 2D seismic surveying, some significant work which is now in the Government’s hands, that’s our information and they said that they saw some pretty interesting geology down there,” he told Firstline this morning.

Protestors are claiming a win, but Mr Heatley says the company did not cite protest action as a reason behind its decision.

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