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

Digital Evolution: Scoop Independent News Launches "Operation Chrysalis"

From today Scoop is beginning a process of public consultation with the political, business and civil society groups it has served for the past 15 and a half years.

"It is hoped that in time - with new leadership and increased community engagement - the chrysalis will incubate a new kind of Scoop, one which can sustainably continue Scoop's Mission 'to be an agent of positive change'", says Scoop Founder, Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.

"As big publishing shrivels, public participation in contributing and spreading news has grown. Scoop has evolved with this wave by providing an independent platform, committed to upholding democracy, providing a voice to all, and providing the public easy access to information about decisions which affect them." More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news