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Sunset from the air
Tokelau is a dependent territory of New Zealand comprising 3 small atolls (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo) covering an area of 319,031 sq kms. It lies north of American Samoa (Swains Island) and east of Tuvalu. Swains Island is geographically part of Tokelau.
Tokelau was settled around 1,000 years ago by migrants from nearby islands but British sailors, when they landed on Atafu (named Duke of York's Island) in 1765 and Nukunonu (Duke of Clarence's Island) in 1791, met no one. A US whaler landed on Fakaofo (Bowditch) in 1835 and a small population was discovered.
Missionaries began to arrive from 1845. In 1863 the native able-bodied men were kidnapped as slaves. Americans and Europeans then settled, intermarried, and repopulated the islands.
Tokelau comprises three tiny coral atolls (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo) sitting on Pacific oceanic crust. The highest point is just 5m above sea level. Swains Island, also an atoll, is geographically part of Tokelau but is under US control as part of American Samoa.
The geology of Tokelau is not suitable for the generation and accumulation of commercial volumes of oil and gas. Thus it has no identified indigenous oil or gas resources, either onshore or offshore, and Globalshift believes it is unlikely to achieve any production in the future. No exploration wells have ever been drilled in the territory.
Tokelau plans to make itself entirely dependent on renewable energy, mostly generated by solar power (photovoltaics) with the remainder refined from coconut oil.
In 2012 it became the first territory in the world to meet all its electricity needs from the sun.
Map and National Flag
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Land area (sq kms)
Oil prod (000s b/d)
Gas prod (bcm/yr)
Oil cons (000s b/d)
Gas cons (bcm/yr)
Head of state is the UK monarch represented by an administrator appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in New Zealand. The head of government presides over a council which acts as a cabinet including the Faipule (leader) and Pulenuku (village mayor) of each of the 3 atolls.
Legislative power lies with a 23-member unicameral General Fono. Tokelau has refused self government in referenda 2 times.
There is no department of government in Tokelau specifically responsible for oil and gas resources.
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