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Plan Would Commit Nation To $1b Oil Storage

14 December 2004
Media Release

Plan would commit nation to $1b oil storage

BP is urging "caution" over a plan announced today which would commit the nation to spend up to $1b on extra storage facilities for stand-by oil stocks that may never be used.

BP's Managing Director, Peter Griffiths, said no matter how the extra storage was built, New Zealanders would be collectively paying up to $1b.

"The plan would require the expenditure of a billion dollars of New Zealander's money on oil storage which is highly unlikely to ever be needed.

"This is a matter of national interest. It is up to the nation to decide whether it is wise to spend $1b on strategic oil storage.

"From our perspective, there is no commercial reason for oil companies to build extra storage. Our current supply system and stocks in New Zealand are suitable for commercial day to day demand.

"The Government is talking about strategic stock to meet a commitment it has signed, so it needs to come up with a way of funding its own commitment," Mr Griffiths said.

He said that given the magnitude of the suggested expenditure, the Government had set unrealistic timeframes around public input.

"It looks like an unnecessary sense of urgency and conscientiousness may have forced officials to overlook other obvious, pragmatic and realistic solutions," he said.

BP would be analysing the report, and would put its observations and suggestions to Government in the New Year.


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