A study has been commissioned to investigate the potential for developing an oil and gas industry on the East Coast of the North Island. The study is being undertaken on behalf of eight East Coast councils as a joint initiative between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Business Hawke's Bay.

The key purpose of the study is to assess the potential for onshore oil and gas development in the region and to identify the potential benefits and costs. The study will provide an overview of the development potential of oil and gas reserves, economic benefits, infrastructure required, and environmental risks. The study will also include a detailed assessment of one potential development scenario by an existing permit-holder, including field development and construction, infrastructure and labour requirements. Input will be sought from a range of interested parties, including industry and local iwi.

The study is expected to be completed by the end of this year. It is proposed that the study can then be used to inform local debate on proposed exploration and drilling activity in the area.