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Govt deep sea oil block offer reckless

24 May 2013

Govt deep sea oil block offer reckless

As Block Offer 2013 bidding begins today, the Green Party is calling the Government reckless and pledges to submit the Kiwi Bid – a bid to protect New Zealand waters and leave them free from risky deep sea drilling.

“There are no guarantees of safety with deep sea oil drilling. It is reckless for the Government to gamble with our economy and environment by risking an oil spill from deep sea drilling,” said Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

Block Offer 2013 is the non-financial tender process for new petroleum exploration permits in New Zealand. It includes 189,000 square kilometres of offshore area, with depths of up to 2,000 metres. This is deeper than the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico which was from an exploratory well in 1,500 metres of water.

“As part of the 2013 Block Offer process, the Green Party will submit the Kiwi Bid – a bid to protect New Zealand waters and leave them free from risky deep sea drilling,” said Mr Hughes.

“By submitting the Kiwi Bid, we give the Government a clear choice. Pursue risky deep sea oil drilling that profits the oil companies, or accept the bid from thousands of Kiwis who love our beaches and pristine oceans and want to protect them.

“We want to show the Government that thousands of Kiwis love and want to protect our beaches and oceans, rather than run the risk of a catastrophic deep sea spill.

“The Gulf of Mexico spill was from a well in deep water and it lasted 86 days, killing wildlife and costing $40 billion in clean-up costs.

“Deep sea drilling is not worth the risk.

“While there are some economic benefits they don’t justify risking a catastrophic spill that could cost us billions.

“Official Information Act papers revealed this week that the Government is expanding its risky deep sea drilling programme despite knowing that New Zealand does not have equipment to deal with an underwater leak.

“Rather than backing the oil industry the Government would do better to encourage other sectors of the economy like clean energy that build on our valuable clean green brand and don't risk a catastrophic oil spill,” said Mr Hughes.

References:
The Kiwi Bid: http://www.greens.org.nz/stopdeepseadrilling/thekiwibid
Block Offer 2013: http://www.nzpam.govt.nz/cms/block-offer
MNZ has no subsea response capability: http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/deewater_consingency_discussion_document_mnz_has_no_subsea_response_capability.pdf

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