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 What makes it worse, is just this week laws on marine discharge consenting were repealed leaving gaping holes in legislation just when we need them most” said Bailey.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

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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)


Media Headlines (1-15 April 2013)

03/04/2013

Taranaki council says getting tougher on drilling waste  (Radio NZ, 15 April)

Deep seas law ‘a sledgehammer’  (NZ Herald, 9 April)

CSG company suspends NSW operation (ABC News, 2 April)

GAS LEAK!  ABC Four Corners program (2 April) – must watch!