Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Taranaki’s first Oil/Gas marine consent – a death knell

Media release: Taranaki’s first Oil/Gas marine consent – a death knell for marine mammals

From: Climate Justice Taranaki
Date: 13 July 2014

Austrian oil giant OMV’s application to drill up to seven new wells from its Maari platform is the first oil/gas marine consent being processed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) under the EEZ and Continental Shelf Act.

“If approved, the operation will pave the way for more intensified oil and gas drilling offshore, jeopardising the already perilous existence of many of New Zealand’s marine mammals and seabirds”, said Catherine Cheung, Climate Justice Taranaki.

Less than 80 km from Opunake, it would take just 5-7 days for oil to reach shore between Opunake and Hawera should an oil spill occur, according to OMV’s own modelling. Within 1-2 weeks, oil would reach Whanganui, Kapiti and Farewell Spit – a prime seabird breeding colony and known whale stranding hotspot. In a fortnight, oil would have travelled north to Oakura and the West Coast Marine Mammal Sanctuary designated for the protection of the critically endangered Maui’s Dolphin.

“People may think ‘she’ll be right – nothing to worry about’, but OMV already has had two oil spills from its floating production vessel at Maari in October 2010, when oil blobs were spotted along the Kapiti Coast. And even if there is no oil spill, further oil and gas development off Taranaki will pose serious threats to marine life,” said Cheung.

Critically for the Maui’s Dolphin which ranges from Maunganui Bluff to Whanganui in waters up to 100 metres deep, “its survival is already affected by noise from seismic surveys which travels at least 80 km, right to the coastline,” explained Prof Liz Slooten, Otago University.

Furthermore, since OMV’s last oil spill, a major feeding ground for the endangered Blue Whale has been discovered in the South Taranaki Bight. NIWA scientist Dr. Leigh Torres revealed that most Blue Whale sightings in the Bight occurred within areas open for mineral exploration and shipping traffic.

Torres pointed out, “despite apparent low-level impacts from individual sources, we must be cognisant of cumulative effects and manage these threats with a coordinated approach.”

OMV’s development drilling is expected to last 420 days, with noise from drilling, ship and helicopter traffic, discharge of drilling waste at sea (and on land), and possibly explosives.

It is just one of many current and planned petroleum and mineral programs, including OMV’s exploratory drilling in the adjacent Manaia oil field, AWE’s exploration near the Tui oil field, Shell Todd’s seismic survey and development drilling in the Maui gas field and seabed mining by Trans-Tasman Resources.

“The impacts on marine life will be like ‘death by a thousand cuts’ if we allow these activities to continue and proliferate. We urge all to write to EPA and object to OMV’s application. Public submission will close on the 29th July”, concluded Cheung.

Sources:

OMV New Zealand Ltd: Application for marine consent (EPA website).
http://www.epa.govt.nz/EEZ/omv/Pages/default.aspx
Second oil spill on tanker in month (Radio NZ, 23 Nov 2010).
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/62391/second-oil-spill-on-tanker-in-month
Evidence for an unrecognised blue whale foraging ground in New Zealand, LG
Torres in NZ Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, May 2013.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00288330.2013.773919
Oil exploration in Maui Dolphin Protection Zone, Liz Slooten, 3 July 2014.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1407/S00066/oil-exploration-in-maui-dolphin-protection-zone.htm

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news