Press release: OMV plans to drill 12 offshore wells non-notified

02/07/2018

OMV drilling map in discharge consent IA 2018

Climate Justice Taranaki wants the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to hold public hearings on OMV’s exploratory drilling consent application and jointly process it with all related applications.

OMV plans to drill 12 offshore wells across six licensed areas in the Taranaki Basin. Because the wells are of exploratory and appraisal nature, the marine consent application for the drilling will not be notified and there will be no opportunity for public submissions.

The EPA has however notified the public of OMV’s application to discharge harmful substances from the deck drains of a yet to be identified drilling rig. Public submissions close on the 9th July.

We are asking EPA to defer the processing of the discharge consent so that it can be assessed jointly with the drilling and other related applications.  It is impossible to assess the cumulative effects of all the drilling and discharge activities on the environment, marine species, human health and existing interests, if the applications are dealt with separately. The law requires consideration of cumulative effects and allows for joint processing of related applications,” said Catherine Cheung of Climate Justice Taranaki.

We are not talking about one of two wells. We are talking about the risks and potentially disastrous consequence from drilling 12 wells and from the discharge of undetermined quantities of undisclosed harmful substances at sea.  Only one of the 12 wells will be drilled in a known, producing field, the Maari,” Cheung emphasized.

International experience has demonstrated that there can be devastating environmental and socio-economic impacts across huge areas from exploratory drilling. New Zealand does not have sufficient on-site resources to cope rapidly with a major incident, which could impact much of the west coast of the North Island and the top of the South Island, encompassing globally significant marine mammal and seabird habitats,” said Dr Lyndon DeVantier of Climate Justice Taranaki.

The EEZ and Continental Shelf Act section 44 allows EPA to extend the time period to enable joint processing and decision-making of related applications. Section 50(2) and Schedule 2 allow EPA to conduct hearings of applications for non-notified activities in public, if it ‘considers it necessary or desirable’.  We certainly think it is necessary, given the scale and significance of the applications,” concluded Cheung.

Source of map: SLR Consulting, March 2018. OMV NZ Ltd. Marine Discharge Consent Application – Deck drainage, Taranaki Basin.

Media coverage:

No hearing for offshore wells, Waatea News, 2 July 2018

Climate Justice Taranaki seeks changes to oil and gas consent application process, Taranaki Daily News, 3 July 2018

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Media release: STOS oil drilling must stop

20/06/2017

Climate Justice Taranaki are calling on submitters to once again tell Shell Todd Oil Services(STOS)to stop drilling for oil and gas in the South Taranaki Bight – home and feeding ground to many marine mammals including the Maui’s dolphin and the Blue Whale. A submission form is available on their website at http://www.climatejusticetaranaki.info/stop-stos

At 5pm Monday 19 June submissions close on STOS’ consent applications to bring in a jack-up rig to the Maui gas platforms that will drill 22 more wells and discharge harmful substances at sea. STOS says it is too early to tell the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the public what chemicals will be discharged. EEZ law, under which EPA acts, cannot stop incomplete consent applications.

“These companies are not seeing the writing on the wall. To be straight up the government and fossil fuel companies just need to be told again and again that the fossil fuel age is over and climate change must be considered. The oil and gas industry is a dying industry that’s taking the whole planet with it” says Climate Justice spokesperson Emily Bailey.

STOS will later apply for an additional marine discharge consent to cover other harmful substance discharges – the public will not be notified on this. “They are plying the old ploy of gaining consent bit by bit so a proper assessment of cumulative impacts cannot be made. This approach makes it harder to turn down new consents once existing ones are granted. What makes it worse, is just this week laws on marine discharge consenting were repealed leaving gaping holes in legislation just when we need them most” said Bailey.

STOS still haven’t confirmed what rig they may use – which vary a lot in size, range and disturbance of the seabed. They haven’t confirmed what operational and drilling chemicals they will use, many of which can be eco-toxins, biocides or carcinogens. STOS should be ashamed. This is consent by stealth. A company that damages the planet with its product and at all stages of its operations should no longer be able to operate in this day and age. It’s time for the fossil fool industry to move on” said Bailey.

A consent was granted in 2015 for STOS to re-drill wells in the Maui field for another 35 years despite the company admitting that they don’t expect more than 20 years of production. Shell has started to sell their NZ assets but there is no culturally and environmentally acceptable decommissioning plan for these sites nor sufficient insurance in place for any major accidents.

It is a well-known scientific fact that to avert runaway climate change we must stop extracting fossil fuels now. We have renewable technologies and sustainable agriculture methods to replace fossil fuels. The industry is getting more desperate. We should give them the final boot rather than putting our very future at risk by bending legislation to suit them and being left to clean up their mess when the waning boom hits bust” concluded Bailey.

Media coverage:

Climate Justice spokesperson Emily Bailey, Waatea News 19 June 2017


Know your rights, landowners & occupiers

26/02/2016
Jeanette Wilson is unhappy that  STOS didn't asked for her permission, as well as her partner's, to carry out  seismic ...

Robert Charles/Fairfax NZ

Taranaki resident Jeanette Wilson is deeply upset about the way Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) has proceeded with their seismic surveys across much of south Taranaki, in search for more oil and gas. According to the Crown Minerals Act section 53(2) companies must obtained written consent from “each owner and occupier of the land” before they could prospect, explore or mine on the land. Yet STOS had never sought Jeanette’s consent, having gotten her husband to sign. Read the rest of this entry »


Media highlights: 4-22 April 2014

08/04/2014

Is the U.S. shale boom going bust?  (Bloomberg, 22 April) – “…the average decline of the world’s conventional oil fields is about 5 percent per year. By comparison, the average decline of oil wells in North Dakota’s booming Bakken shale oil field is 44 percent per year. Individual wells can see production declines of 70 percent or more in the first year. Shale gas wells face similarly swift depletion rates, so drillers need to keep plumbing new wells to make up for the shortfall at those that have gone anemic. This creates what Hughes and other critics consider an unsustainable treadmill of ever-higher, billion-dollar capital expenditures chasing a shifting equilibrium. …”

Dairy industry inquiry wanted [by Fish and Game]  (Radio NZ, 19 April)

Sustainable farming granted $9.9 million funding  (NZ Farmers, 18 April)

Fracking-earthquake link may impact insurance policies  (Columbus Business First, 18 April) – “Fracking falls into the “man-made” part of typical earthquake insurance coverage, the same category that includes injection wells. More than one-third of companies polled by the Ohio Insurance Institute in 2012 said their earthquake coverage wouldn’t cover losses from fracking-related movement.”  NZ insurers won’t cover that either.

Fracking study gets [Colorado] House OK  (GJSentinel, 17 April)  – “The bill directs the department of public health and environment to conduct an analysis of human health and quality of life within the counties of Larimer, Weld, Boulder, and Adams with the intent of understanding any possible effects of oil and gas operations on communities within these counties.” NZ should follow suit with focus on Taranaki.

Brian Fallow: Curbing emissions is vital – Any delay could make adjustment to a low-carbon economy more costly  (NZ Herald, 17 April) – An interesting read from an economist’s point of view.

California hydraulic fracturing moratorium bill approved by state senate committee  (Hydraulic fracking blog, 16 April)

Gas finds key to methanol peak  (TDN, 16 April)

What to do if oil and gas companies come calling  (Wairarapa Times-Age, 16 April) – Federated Farmers’ reasonable advice

EPA drastically underestimates methane released at drilling sites (Los Angeles Times, 14 April) – This again debunks the notion that natural gas is a clean, transition energy – it is not, because of the huge amount of fugitive gas, none of which is being accounted for here in NZ.

Ohio geologists link small quakes to fracking  (AP, 11 April) – “Under Ohio’s new permit conditions, all new drilling sites within 3 miles of a known fault or seismic activity of 2.0 magnitude or higher will be conditioned on the installation of sensitive seismic-monitoring equipment. Results will be directly available to regulators, Simmers said, so the state isn’t reliant on drilling operators providing the data voluntarily. If seismic activity of 1.0 magnitude or greater is felt, drilling will be paused for evaluation. If a link is found, the operation will be halted.”  No such regulation in NZ.

Greens want ‘land farm’ meat tested for contamination  (TV NZ One News, 11 April) Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye says there is no evidence of any risk, and “Milk testing is a lot quicker, sheep and beef testing would require huge control samples, it would take a lot longer and I think we should only do that if we actually see something showing up in the milk …” In stark contrast, in 2010, Pennsylvanian Agriculture Secretary quarantined 20 cows for 6 months and 8 calves for 2 years after suspected ingestion of drilling waste, for fear of contaminated meat.

DEP issues Chevron nine citations in fatal gas well blast  (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10 April) – “In addition to the violation for not allowing access, the state cited Chevron for seven violations for failure to operate a well properly and failure to prevent venting of gas, and a violation for a discharge of well production fluids onto the ground.” Yet TRC routinely issues consent for the discharge of “treated produced water” onto land and into tributaries.

Minister didn’t know park was in drilling plan  (3 News, 8 April)

Report shows 61 dangerous petroleum incidents  (3 News, 7 April) – Must watch!

Maps leave pa beset on all sides  (Wanganui Chronicle, 4 April)  – quoted cjt media release on new block offers


Join Get Free and Defend your Right to say NO to offshore oil drilling

05/09/2013

GET FREE is a call to action. A call against the reckless expansion of fossil fuel extraction in the lands and waters of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Submit your opposition to the proposed law change which will make exploratory drilling in the EEZ non-notified discretionary, via Greenpeace or directly to the Ministry for Environment.  Do it now, before 25 September 2013.


Media highlights (1-30 September, 2013)

04/09/2013

Residents upset over new well site  (TDN, Sept 27)

Greens catch anti-drilling protest wave  (DomPost, Sept 27)

Shortage of landfarming space in region predicted  (TDN, Sept 9)

Community anger as Tikorangi well gets go-ahead  (TDN, Sept 9)

Whale deaths blamed on offshore oil exploration (The Guardian, Sept 5)

Taranaki waste disposal farms are filling up  (Radio NZ, Sept 6)  – Must listen!

Rural residents worried river being polluted by composting  (Radio NZ, Sept 5)  – This composting/wormfarm operation mix drilling mud with farm & green waste to produce soil conditioner and other garden products!

Confirmed: Fracking practices to blame for Ohio earthquakes (NBC News Science, Sept 4)

Public to lose right to legally oppose deep sea oil exploration (Radio NZ, Sept 4) – listen to interview with EDS, EEZ barrister and Greenpeace on recent law changes


Media Headlines (16-30 April 2013)

18/04/2013

Environmentalists call foul over ‘draconian’ new law  (Otago Daily TImes, 18 April)

Europe’s climate chief vows to fight on to save emission trading scheme (Guardian, 17 April)