Industry supports review of oil spill response capability

Published: Mon 17 Oct 2011 02:35 PM
Industry supports review of oil spill response capability
The oil and gas industry describes calls for a moratorium on exploration and production as a misguided and misdirected response which would suspend an industry worth $2b a year in GDP and $1b in taxes, not because of an accident to an oil rig, but to a container ship.
PEPANZ has instead said it would be wiser to continue with shipping, and with oil and gas production, but would welcome any review of oil spill response capability.
John Pfahlert, PEPANZ Executive Officer, said the country could not afford to ban shipping, and nor could it afford to ban oil and gas production.
The environmental effects of this accident are abhorrent to every one of us. The impact of this accident is terribly saddening, and frustrating.
We understand how the frustration could lead to politicians calling for bans, but making the leap to banning oil and gas exploration is unreasonable, and frankly disingenuous.
No one is seriously suggesting banning maritime shipping, because as an island nation we need sea transport moving goods in, out and around the country. Equally we cannot afford to ban oil and gas production, because this is a vital sector for the New Zealand economy, producing jobs and revenue that will be at risk with an arbitrary ban.
“The oil and gas industry conducts drilling in New Zealand according to international best practice and has an excellent safety record here. However we would fully support a review of the nation’s ability to respond to any sort of oil spill in our coastal waters, and would see this as a more sensible and practical approach than a moratorium.
“We should remember that the Government is already in the middle of a substantial resetting of rules for the conduct of oil and gas exploration in the EEZ – with specific legislation covering exploration in the EEZ and Offshore HSE regulations. The Government has introduced the Drilling Safety rule and it expects an Environmental Impact Assessment before drilling commences “ sensible measures which PEPANZ members endorse,”Mr Pfahlert said.

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