MEDIA RELEASE: Anadarko stopped for now in Taranaki

FROM: Climate Justice Taranaki

Climate Justice Taranaki, Greenpeace NZ and other groups and iwi fighting fossil fuel expansion in Aotearoa are celebrating this weekend at the announcement that Anadarko are postponing their Deepwater Taranaki exploration drill.

A story in the Energy Bulletin, published on Friday, quotes Anadarko as saying that it has not been able to find a rig early enough in the season to carry out its planned drilling programme for this summer in Taranaki and Canterbury. Anadarko also has failed to find an investor company to share its costs of the rig mobilisation and demobilisation. The company says it is therefore postponing until the next “window of opportunity”
next summer 2012-13. [1]

“Anadarko, who owned 25% of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that spilled millions of barrels of oil last year, are planning to drill at sea-depths of up to 1500 metres in what can only be described as a recipe for disaster” says Climate Justice Taranaki member Urs Signer.

“Our group is only too happy to contribute to the awareness in the Taranaki region that we need to stop the massive expansion of fossil fuel extraction in order to fight climate change.”

“This is another major nail in the coffin for the Government’s programme of the deep sea oil drilling in New Zealand,” says Greenpeace NZ Climate Campaigner Steve Abel.

“According to mining industry body Straterra, community groups and iwi who are organising against the drilling across the country can turn New Zealand into a country that is ‘seen to be too hard a place to do business
and investors will go elsewhere'”
says Signer. [2]

Given the current dive in global stock markets since this week’s US budget decision, it comes as no surprise that money is tight, even in the oil and gas sector. In 2009 when recession hit, many of the companies exploring
Aotearoa for oil and gas could not find sufficient financial backing to proceed. New Zealand has in recent months moved from a low risk to a high risk rated country for investors in oil and gas.

International finance analysts DBSR recently reported a growing risk in the oil and gas industry due to, amongst other things, political risk from countries’ law changes, workforce flexibility due to hire and fire
operations that reduce pools of trained staff and regulatory/environmental factors. “Among the more stringent laws are those related to safety and the environment. Oil and gas drilling activity leads to greenhouse gas
emissions, which are subject to growing regulatory requirements and, potentially, higher industry compliance costs. Environmental regulation is growing, especially with respect to water usage, the treatment of
chemicals used in shale drilling and the potential impact on nearby drinking water” the July 2011 DBSR report said. [3]

“Given the Taranaki Regional Council’s recent proposed law change for onshore drilling and the rising number of countries who are coming out against fracking, which is now seen as the major new technique to get the
last of the resource, the business of fossil fuel extraction is becoming increasingly unpopular”
says Signer.

Climate Justice Taranaki will continue to organise in the community to grow a movement against fossil fuel extraction that will prevent Anadarko and other companies from drilling in the following year as well.

ENDS

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