Press release: CJT call for independent investigation on the risks of extreme weather and earthquakes on aging oil and gas infrastructure


Source: Caprari

Climate Justice Taranaki says an independent investigation is critical to determine the cause and extent of damage on the OMV Maari oil platform and associated infrastructure, and to assess the risks of aging oil and gas installations failing.

Wild weather and heightened earthquake risk have prompted OMV to evacuate its staff off the Maari oil platform where a crack was discovered during a scheduled underwater check.

The company reported that the damage was caused by “fatigue” and “combined action of wind and wave” and was unable to reject the possibility of damage from the 7.8 earthquake that hit the country last week.

Over the last decade, drilling for oil and gas has intensified drastically, with more and more wells being drilled, many side-tracked from old wells, some kilometres long, most have been fracked, water-flooded or injected with waste. With greater intensity comes greater risks, especially as such infrastructure ages and climate disruption escalates.

Alarmingly, industry figures show that over half of all wells fail in 20 years. The original OMV Maari wells are nearing 20 years old, those under the STOS Maui platform were drilled over 30 years old while some of the Kapuni onshore wells are 40 plus years old.

In 1995, the McKee-13 well at Tikorangi blew out, contaminated the Mangahewa Stream with oil and drilling mud. In 2009, the regional council was informed that two Cheal producing wells had been leaking underground for two years. Several offshore oil spills have occurred in recent years, including at least three from the Maari operations. Some might argue these are minor incidents, but the chance of a catastrophe happening is increasing. It is no time for complacency,” warned Catherine Cheung of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Media coverage:

Push for investigation on cracked oil platform, NewsTalk, 26 Nov 2016

CJT call for independent investigation on the risks of extreme weather and earthquakes on oil and gas, Opunake Coastal News, 2 Dec 2016 page 24


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