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: Climate Justice Taranaki questions the cause of Sperm Whale Death

28/05/2018

sperm whale Andy Jackson 28May18 stuff AW track mineral permits collageClimate Justice Taranaki calls for a full investigation on the possible causes of injury and death of the 12 sperm whale discovered along Kaupokonui Beach, South Taranaki, last weekend.

It is extremely upsetting whenever whale stranding and death occurs. We know it is very difficult to determine the causes of mass whale stranding and often there is no definitive answer. But with the increasing human activities in our oceans, we must ask the hard questions of whether we have caused or contributed to their demise. The Tasman Sea has been exceptionally hot this past summer, in places more than six degrees Celsius above normal, with cascading impacts on food webs.

There is also ample research that demonstrates direct and indirect harm on marine mammals from seismic testing. Here, we had the world’s largest seismic testing ship, the Amazon Warrior, blasting off Taranaki from north of Mokau to Whanganui for three months, till around the end of March. Could the seismic blasting have injured the whales, displaced them from their feeding grounds or weakened them by added stress?” Dr Lyndon DeVantier, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

The whales’ bodies were reportedly too decomposed for necropsies, indicating that they likely died at sea en masse. We want a detailed investigation on the possible causes of the tragic death of the whales.

With the government’s recent decision of allowing existing petroleum exploration and mining permits to continue, there will be increased impacts on marine species and ecosystems from seismic blasting and drilling for oil and gas. The Malaysian based Tamarind Taranaki Ltd has already applied for permits to drill new side track wells at the Tui oil field and discharge harmful substances at sea. We encourage everyone who
cares about our marine environment and climate to submit to the EPA in opposition to Tamarind’s applications,” said Catherine Cheung, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Graphics: Photo of dead sperm whales at Kaupokonui Beach by Andy Jackson / Stuff 27May2018; Track of Amazon Warrior as of 24Jan2018; Mineral mining permits from NZPAM website.

Media coverage:

Whale stranding unites Taranaki hapu, Maori TV 28 May 2018

Climate Justice whale stranding story, Maori TV 29 May 2018

Harsh conditions for workers as another dead whale washes up, Taranaki Daily News 28 May 2018

‘Extremely unlikely’ seismic surveying linked to death of 12 sperm whales, Stuff national 29 May 2018


MEDIA RELEASE: Further oil and gas drilling in Taranaki – disappointing

12/04/2018

MEDIA RELEASE: Further oil and gas drilling in Taranaki – disappointing
DATE: 12th April 2018 – for immediate release

“Climate Justice Taranaki welcomes central government’s decision to issue no more offshore oil and gas exploration licenses. Finally, the government have listened to iwi, hapū and communities from across Aotearoa in not releasing any new offshore permits for oil and gas drilling. However, we are also deeply disappointed that it is considering releasing 1,703 square kilometres of land for new onshore drilling here in Taranaki. We all know that fossil fuels need to stay in the ground – offshore and onshore!” says Urs Signer, a member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“The government says it will consult with hapū and iwi to identify areas of sensitivity or significance that the Minister needs to be aware of. However, a potential 23% of onshore Taranaki land could be available to companies wanting to drill, which will further contribute to the climate crisis and destroy the local environment.”

“Companies have been drilling for oil and gas in Taranaki since the 1860s and fracking since the early 1990s. They discharge toxic drilling waste back into old wells or spread it onto paddocks in so-called landfarms. Communities living around wellsites bear the brunt of noise and traffic impacts. The local councils are allying themselves with the industry to resist the basic safeguards for human health and safety. It is real sad to see the central government continuing to sacrifice Taranaki for political trade off.”

“The government can’t pretend to be proactive on climate change while at the same time enabling further drilling in Taranaki. The time for action on climate change was yesterday. Let’s get together in our communities, hapū and iwi and keep pushing the government and build our collective capacity to oppose further drilling and develop a truly sustainable and just economy” concludes Urs Signer.

Map source: NZPAM website, 12 April 2018

Media coverage:

Govt tells oil industry: ‘The world is changing’, Radio NZ 13 April 2018

No new offshore oil and gas exploration, Otago Daily Times 13 April 2018


MEDIA RELEASE: Taranaki people headed for Petroleum Conference blockade

22/03/2018

“Taranaki people, residents and whānau with concerns for our global climate are travelling to Wellington next week to participate in the Rally for Climate Justice and the blockade of the annual Petroleum Conference” says Urs Signer, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“Last year, 200 people successfully blockaded and delayed the Petroleum
Conference for several hours when it was held in New Plymouth. Since
then, opposition to further fossil fuel extraction has grown hugely
across Aotearoa. We all know that coal, oil and gas needs to stay in the
ground to avoid catastrophic climate change.”

PM Jacinda Ardern has asked for more time to figure out what to do with
the oil and gas exploration block offers. It really isn’t that
difficult. If this is our nuclear free moment, then an end to fossil
fuel extraction is the only path forward.”

“To create a socially just and ecologically sustainable society is not
an easy task but the time for waiting is well and truly over. It’s time
for community action: together we will shut down the Petroleum
Conference; together we will bring an end to the fossil fuel extracting
industry; together we will ensure that the earth we are borrowing from
future generations has an intact climate and strong and healthy
communities” concludes Urs Signer.

More information about the Rally for Climate Justice and blockade can be
found here https://www.rallyforclimatejustice.nz/

Media coverage: Petroleum protester plan to attend the country’s biggest oil and gas conference in Wellington, TDN 22 March 2018

Anti-oil protest heads to NZ Petroleum Conference, Te Karere TVNZ, 26 March 2018

Protests at the New Zealand Petroleum Conference, RNZ, 26 March 2018


Press release: Climate Justice Taranaki vindicated by the Advertising Standard Authority

08/03/2018

Three months after Climate Justice Taranaki (CJT) filed its complaint on the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association (PEPANZ)’s seismic survey website, the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) announced its Decision today. Read the rest of this entry »


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/


MEDIA RELEASE: Seismic survey monster not welcome in Taranaki waters

17/11/2017

Antarctica-Sea-Ice-Melting-NEWSHUB-1120 Nov monthly sea ice extent since 1978plus CO2 emissions fossil fuel

“The seismic survey monster boat ‘Amazon Warrior’ is not welcome in Taranaki waters” says Emily Bailey, spokesperson for the community group Climate Justice Taranaki.

The 125 metre long ship is currently on its way to Aotearoa, having left South Korea earlier in the month.

“The boat is returning to Aotearoa to conduct a 3D seismic survey for Schlumberger, a multinational oil and gas giant. While we probably won’t get to see the boat, it is of huge concern to our beaches, the marine life, all the whales and of course our climate. Scientists have just warned that the unprecedented ice melt in the Antarctic could be the tipping point, disrupting global and New Zealand climate. It is time the government step in and stop this madness of allowing profit-driven companies to continue causing havoc.”

“The offshore permit, still under evaluation, which covers over 18,000 square kilometres of ocean (that’s 2.5 times as big as the Taranaki region), is exactly where a blue whale feeding and nursing ground was discovered. Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, recently confirmed that ‘one of the goals in the Green Party’s confidence and supply agreement with Labour was to look at establishing a Taranaki blue whale sanctuary.’ We challenge the new government to do just that and as a first step, stop this seismic survey ship and deny granting Schlumberger’s permit.”

“In order to create a just ecologically sustainable future, we all know we need to transition away from fossil fuels. The time for action on the frontlines of climate change is now” concludes Emily Bailey.

 

Graph source (left): Newshub in ‘Daunting’ Antarctic sea ice plummet could be tipping point

Graph source (right): Global Carbon Project in Bad News: Global carbon emissions have suddenly started risen again (New Scientist 13 Nov 2017)

 

Media coverage: Greenpeace issues warning to seismic survey ship (Radio NZ, 19 Nov 17)