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Say No More to NZ Oil & Gas

Oil Free Otago media release 5 Feb 2018

Nuclear Free Moment? Prove it. Say No More to NZ Oil & Gas

Oil Free Otago calls on the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods to make good on her Prime Minister’s call that climate change is her generation’s nuclear free moment by declining NZ Oil & Gas’ (NZOG) application to extend their permit to drill for oil off the Oamaru Coast.

NZOG applied last week for a second time to the government for an extension to their permit to explore for oil off the Oamaru coast.

“NZOG were given an extension on their Clipper permit off Oamaru two years ago” said Oil Free Otago spokesperson Rosemary Penwarden “and now they want another one.

“We know we cannot afford to burn all of the oil, gas and coal already discovered if we are to protect a liveable climate. Last year weather-related damage in New Zealand cost the insurance industry $242 million. In July Oamaru, the closest town to NZOG’s proposed drill site, received 173.8mm of rain in a single day, the highest ever recorded.

“Extreme weather events are part and parcel of climate change and further drilling by NZOG will only make it worse. They have had enough free passes. If this government is serious about tackling climate change they should say no to yet another permit extension for this company.”

For two years NZOG have reported ongoing discussions with “potential farm-in partners.” The company was recently the subject of a 67.5% takeover by multi-billion dollar Monaco-based Ofer Global, but even they will not underpin the cost of exploratory drilling, describing it as a risky and costly deep-sea exercise ($NZ85-$115m) which they are reluctant to commit to.

Under current rules NZOG have until 10 April to commit to either drilling an exploratory well in the deepwater Barque prospect within the Clipper permit, or surrendering the permit altogether.

“PM Jacinda Ardern said Climate Change is her generation’s nuclear free moment” said Ms Penwarden. “Here is her moment to prove it. Turn down the extension. Then let’s get on with building a fairer and safer net zero carbon economy by 2050.”


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