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Tables Turned on Oil Industry

Tables Turned on Oil Industry

Kaitaia, Tuesday 12 August 2014: A Statoil executive and staff met clear opposition yesterday to their plans to both begin seismic testing in December and their plans to drill for deep sea oil off the coast from Kaitaia. Three hours of opposition was voiced from kaumatua from along the western coast of Northland, environment groups and local people directly to Dr Pal Haremo, vice president of exploration for Statoil and his team.

Kaumatua voiced “100 percent opposition to seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling” and were so incensed that the corporation refused to back down on their plans, that the tables Statoil representatives sat at were upturned by the last surviving member of the 28th Maori Battalion, Selwyn Clarke. This ended the official meeting.

“The opposition to Statoil carrying out their deep sea oil drilling plans was clear. It is just the beginning of opposition that will be very expensive for the company”, said Mike Smith, campaigner for Greenpeace Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Statoil were also asked to cancel their seismic testing planned for December to protect sea life in the Te Reinga Basin. It was clear the corporation were not going to change these plans.

“We hope the message gets to the Norwegian public that their state owned company, Statoil, needs to be responsible and move from hunting for oil in the most extreme and dangerous environments in the world to invest in clean, renewable technology, ” said Mike Smith.

The Seismic testing planned for December would use explosions from airguns that penetrate kilometres below the seabed and have been proven to harm and kill dolphins, whales, giant squid and fish (1).

Statoil is understood to be approaching the organisers of the 90 Mile Beach Snapper Fishing Competition to offer funding.

“This is exactly the kind of corporate divide and conquer tactics corporations use to get their way. Snapper fishers should be aware that seismic testing in Australia has had a terrible impact on pink snapper where scientists have proven their earbones have been seriously damaged (1), (2). So it would not be sensible to take money from a corporation that is going to damage your target species”, said Mike Smith.

1. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1407/S00011/northland-whales-and-dolphins-at-risk-from-statoi...l.htm
2. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EbyZwXbJ3Q#t=2961
3. Study : http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa/journal/jasa/113/1/10.1121/1.1527962

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