Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Urgent need to close loopholes in exploration ban

Urgent need to close loopholes in the Government’s exploration ban legislation

Last Wednesday it was announced that Austrian oil company OMV had been granted a two-year extension to its exploration permit to ‘assess geological data’ in the Great Southern Basin off the Otago Coast before deciding whether and where to drill an exploratory well.

It’s known in the industry as a ‘drill or drop’ decision.

The announcement comes barely nine months after New Zealand Oil and Gas was granted a second extension for their Barque prospect off South Canterbury, ostensibly for further data analysis. The extension was granted by officials in record time over the Christmas holiday because the drill or drop deadline was in April. Market analysts point out that NZOG has been struggling to find a farm-in partner to share the costs of an exploratory well.

Both extensions appear to be examples of ‘gaming the system’ which FFARN warned about in its submission on the CMA (Petroleum) Amendment bill last Wednesday.

The ban and this bill could provide an incentive for oil companies to ramp up their exploration activities. An example of what some economists have termed the ‘green paradox’, where government climate policy measures spark accelerated emissions-producing behaviour from the petroleum companies.

At present 15 more exploration permits are facing drill or drop decisions in the next 18 months

Sections 35 and 36 of the CMA provide that the Minister may change a permit at any time under specified conditions. An exploration permit extension may only be granted in accordance with Section 35A for purposes of ‘appraisal of a discovery.’

According to the ODT (10 October 2018), OMV’s application letter stated the extension would enable the company to “become significantly better informed about the underlying geology before commencing drilling under the work programme. This reduces the prospect of unnecessary drilling taking place." That doesn’t appear to be grounds for an extension under the Act.

Minister Woods told Parliament she would treat extensions on a case by case. In practice decision-making is devolved to New Zealand Petroleum and Mining officials who are also responsible for promoting O&G development.

FFARN recommended to the Select Committee that if the Government is serious about phasing out fossil fuels, the regulations around extensions should be tightened by allowing oil companies only one extension for one year, placing the decision-making back in the hands of the Minister and adding a provision that the Minister be advised by an ‘independent expert’.

-- Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Our Local Responses To The Global Problems Of Inflation


In the United Kingdom, inflation is running at its highest rate in 30 years. In the US, inflation hit 7% during 2021. You wouldn’t want to be in Estonia, where inflation has just hit 12%. Across the Eurozone – the measurement methods vary – inflation is averaging out at 5%. In Canada, inflation is running at its highest level in 30 years. Inflation is not simply a problem afflicting developed countries. In a developing country like Brazil inflation is running at its highest level in seven years...
More>>



 
 

Government: Building And Shaping A City: Future-proofing Auckland Transport Infrastructure
The Government is bringing Auckland’s transport infrastructure into the future by moving forward with an additional Waitematā Harbour crossing, progressing light rail from Auckland’s CBD to the airport, and creating a linked-up rapid transport network as part of a 30-year plan... More>>

The Treasury: Financial Statements Of The Government Of NZ For The 5 Months Ended 30 November 2021
Interim Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the 5 months ended 30 November 2021... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Announces Three Phase Public Health Response To Omicron
The Government has announced a three phase Omicron plan that aims to slow down and limit the spread of an outbreak, Associate Minister of Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “Through the course of managing Omicron, we will be taking a phased approach. As case numbers grow both testing and isolation approaches will change in response... More>>



Ministry Of Transport: Have Your Say On The Future Of Road User Charges
Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport is inviting New Zealanders to submit their views on improving the Road User Charges system, says Secretary for Transport, Peter Mersi... More>>


TradeMe: New Zealand Rents Climb $40 Per Week In One Year

New Zealand’s national median rent climbed $40 a week in 2021 to reach $560 in December, according to Trade Me’s latest Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said last month’s national median weekly rent showed an 8 per cent annual increase... More>>


Transparency International: New Zealand Retains Top Ranking In Annual Corruption Perceptions Index
New Zealand is once again ranked least corrupt in the world by Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index. This year New Zealand’s score of 88 out of 100 is unchanged resulting in it being first equal with Denmark and Finland... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels