99% chance of oil over Marine Mammal Sanctuary if there’s a well blow-out

14/06/2018

Collage Tui Spill Time AnnexF MM sanctuary IA102

Both the South Taranaki shoreline and Marine Mammal Sanctuary had a 99% probability of being exposed to visible floating oil…” according to Tamarind’s modelling of a hypothetical 45-day subsea release of 356,780 bbl of Tui Crude, following a loss of well control at the Amokura-2H well over February to May.

Although Tamarind considers a major incident to be ‘unlikely’ or ‘extremely unlikely’, the consequence on the marine environment would be devastating if it happens. No marine sanctuary could protect our critically endangered Maui’s dolphin, Blue whale (now found to be genetically distinct), Sperm whale and other marine creatures from an oil spill.

Please spare a minute and tell EPA if you don’t want Tamarind to drill more oil wells and discharge harmful substances off the Taranaki coast. Here’s an on-line submission form we’ve prepared to help you do that, or you can go directly to EPA website. Submissions close on Monday 18 June 2018.

With increasing climate disruptions, aging infrastructure and the intensification of activities: more drilling, seismic surveys, fishing, maritime transport, potential seabed mining and other industries in and around the area, the likelihood of accidents and the resulting harm will escalate and become increasingly unmanageable.

Human activities globally have caused rapid changes in sea temperatures and ocean chemistry with cascading effects on foodwebs. Parts of the Tasman Sea have experienced extremely elevated sea temperatures over the past three summers, threatening marine foodwebs and fisheries.

Society’s addiction on fossil fuels for energy, transport, agriculture and luxury goods is risking our own life-support system.

Graphics from Tamarind Impact Assessment Annex F. Oil Spill Modeeling

Here’s CJT’s submission to EPA.

 

 

 

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Press Release: Ocean Killers: OMV, Schlumberger, Amazon Warrior

01/02/2018

“In the last 42 days, the seismic survey ship ‘Amazon Warrior’ has been forced to stop 28 times according to reports from iwi marine mammal observers onboard because the ship has come too close to whales, dolphins or seals.” said Climate Justice Taranaki spokesperson Emily Bailey. “That’s threatened or endangered species in harm’s way every one and a half days in OMV and Schlumberger’s irresponsible pursuit of oil”.

amazonwarrior 01-24-18 at 09.52 AM

Photo: The Amazon Warrior’s path of destruction, from Google Earth KMZ

“Climate Justice Taranaki fully supports the actions of Greenpeace protectors who locked on to the Amazon Warrior’s support ship yesterday in Port Taranaki. We have a proud history of civil disobedience by brave people who are willing to stand up for what’s right. Schlumberger and OMV should be ashamed of their backward operations at a time when our seas are dying and climate chaos has begun.”

“New research has proven seismic blasting kills off zooplankton and krill out to at least 1.2 kilometres from every hydrophone trailed behind the survey ships. These tiny animals underpin whole ocean productivity and are why the Southern Taranki Bight provides important feeding and nursery grounds or migration corridors for some 36 cetacean species including critically endangered Maui dolphins and endangered Blue Whales. It is part of one of the two most biodiverse areas in the world – and a hotspot for commercial and recreational fishers.”

“Together with the Cook Strait, the South Taranaki Bight is also an internationally recognised Important Bird Area, identified by Forest and Bird. Research on our ‘At risk-declining’ Little Blue Penguin has shown that some birds swam all the way from Marlborough to feed in the South Taranaki Bight. A new study on the breeding endangered African Penguin revealed a strong avoidance of their preferred foraging ground during seismic blasting, affecting their reproductive success.”

“The Iwi Chairs and Taranaki iwi and hapu came out in full against this seismic survey along with thousands of New Zealanders who don’t think the destruction of our planet is worth the price of oil. Some Taranaki iwi have also declared they want no more of this industry at all in their rohe and are demanding complete removal of all infrastructure.”

“While two other companies in the seismic industry have just gone bankrupt, Schlumberger has now declared it’s financially unviable to continue seismic surveying but they are to complete their current contracts. OMV nears the end of this survey, coming in close now to Taranaki’s coastal Marine Mammal Sanctuary. It’s time OMV, and next on the list: Todd, pull out of these contracts and do the right thing for the future of Taranaki and our planet.”

 

Sources:
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-06/uot–nrr062217.php
https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/71327531/marlboroughs-amazing-little-blue-penguins
http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/important-bird-areas
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03014223.2017.1302970?journalCode=tnzz20
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-16569-x


Climate Justice Taranaki

http://climatejusticetaranaki.info
https://www.facebook.com/climatejusticetaranaki/


Press Release: Multiple risks ignored in proposed new airport terminal – New Plymouth

15/05/2017

The New Plymouth District Council proposes to borrow close to $30 million on a new, larger airport terminal with a unique cultural design. Climate Justice Taranaki Inc. raises serious questions about the risk assessment and business case behind the proposal.

IMG_20160915_091250 airport rig LR CJT

I was gobsmacked when I arrived at the airport, and there was a huge drill rig right there in front of the café. It was last September. It was apparently there to plug old wells.

There is no relief in thinking that the airport wells are not producing and are therefore safe. In fact, the likelihood of an abandoned well leaking increases over time. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has made it clear that once a well is abandoned and ‘signed off’, any leaks or other problems become the responsibility of the landowner,” said Catherine Cheung, Researcher of Climate Justice Taranaki Inc..

The danger of oil and gas activities, whether it is current or historic, is real. Just last month, a Colorado home was blasted to the ground, killing two people. The cause of the explosion was a gas leak from a cut pipeline that’s connected to an old gas well that was recently restarted.

“Did Council take such risks and liability into account when conducting the risk analysis for the new airport terminal? What if an oil company decides to resume drilling, fracking, production or injection activities onsite?  Is Council certain that the health and safety risks associated with the increase in aviation and passenger traffic that they hope will follow, are justified or manageable?” Cheung asked.

Currently in the New Plymouth District Plan, there are no rules specifying the minimum separation distances required between hazardous facilities like wellsites and sensitive landuse like schools and airports where people congregate.

The South Taranaki District Council, under pressure from the oil companies, dropped all the specified setback requirements, despite Taranaki Energy Watch’s expert witnesses arguing strongly for minimum setbacks based on analysis of effects and risks to human health, property and the environment.

We are gutted that NPDC has joined the oil companies and Stratford District Council in opposition to Taranaki Energy Watch’s appeal on STDC’s decisions. We expect Council to care for our health and safety, not to ally with oil companies when considering rules that could potentially jeopardise people’s lives,” Cheung said.

There are other risks that Council must evaluate when considering the airport expansion – the impacts of climate change and the associated extreme weather events and sea level rise.

There is no doubt that coastal hazards are increasing over time. The Environment Commissioner has warned that even a small amount of sea level rise will substantially exacerbate the costs of flooding and storm surges. When risks become uneconomic, an asset like the airport could become ‘uninsurable’. Council’s business case on the proposed airport expansion totally ignores climate change and the financial risks and liability associated with it,” Cheung concluded.

Climate Justice Taranaki’s submission to NPDC re the proposed new airport terminal is here: https://climatejusticetaranaki.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/cjt-submission-on-npdc-annual-plan-re-airport-expansion-and-water-rates-final.pdf

Media:

Risks ignored in proposed new airport terminal (Opunake & Coastal News, 26 May 2017 p.16)

New Plymouth airport upgrade given the go ahead (Taranaki Daily News, 7 Jun 2017)

Debate after New Plymouth airport upgrade triples in cost (Radio NZ, 7 Jun 2017)


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

25/11/2016
maari_platform-image-source-caprari

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. Read the rest of this entry »


Fossil fuel economics – a fairy tale

17/04/2015

It is encouraging to hear the World Bank calling for a halt to fossil fuel subsidies and a collective international binding agreement for a zero-carbon world by the end of the century. But how a carbon tax will make this happen remains a big question mark. History has shown us that we cannot rely on big corporations to move away from their old habits and lead the change needed for the better: How BP had invested in low carbon technology for decades just to abandon them for greater economic gains is a typical example.

In the mean time, the fossil fuel industry has been found to be operating dangerously in New Zealand, with over 130 incidents recorded in the last two years while the government continues to push for more drilling. They want us to believe that NZ can get rich on oil like Norway did. But even the Norwegians know: “When we wake up from this oil bubble … we will realise we will never have a fairy tale like this again.”

So let us get off fossil fuels and move on to more sustainable, democratic, decentralised energy systems that benefit communities and the planet. “We need a managed and fair transition, not a massive oil shock which could plunge the already fuel-poor into further hardship and breed economic and social pandemonium. If today’s anti-oil social movements continue to strengthen, this could happen: through pressure from shareholders, the erosion of oil companies’ social licence, the physical disruption of operations by local resistance, the boom in renewable energy, and public pressure on governments to take more decisive climate action”.