4 May 2011
Govt confirms NZers will pay for oil spill
The Government confirmed today that New Zealanders will carry full financial liability and responsibility for
containment and clean up if there is a catastrophic oil spill in deep water off the Canterbury Coast, said the Green
“The Government’s eagerness to open our coasts to the risk of catastrophic oil spills is reckless and frightening,” said
Green Party Co Leader Metiria Turei.
Anadarko Petroleum of Texas, who owned a stake in the Deepwater Horizon well that leaked oil into the Gulf of Mexico for
three months, are planning to drill an exploratory well at the same depth in the Canterbury Basin before the end of the
In response to oral questions in the House today, Acting Minister of Energy and Resources Hekia Parata stated that the
Government will not require a bond from Anadarko before drilling commences, and that Maritime New Zealand would be
entirely responsible for containment and clean-up in the event of a catastrophic leak.
“Deep water oil drilling is still a very new activity, and we’ve already seen one catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico that
will cost tens of billions of dollars and cause untold ecological damage,” said Mrs Turei.
“Now our Government is about to allow drilling in water five times deeper than any well has ever been drilled in New
Zealand waters, with no environmental permitting regime in place, or infrastructure to respond if there is spill.
“The Minister continues to state that 400 Maritime emergency responders will be on hand. Nevermind that there were
upwards of 45,000 responders and nearly a thousand vessels involved in the Gulf containment.
“Even Anadarko, in their annual report, state that the lack of infrastructure in deep water means that they may not be
able to quickly or effectively execute any contingency plans related to future events similar to the Gulf oil spill.
“John Key’s Government is turning a blind eye to the huge risks involved, and they’re willing to let New Zealand
taxpayers foot the bill if anything goes wrong,” said Mrs Turei.
Link to oral question and answers video:
Link to Anadarko Annual Report (see page 30.):