Monday, 5 August 2013

Oil Drilling Coming to Otago?

This summer Texan oil company, Anadarko, is planning to drill a couple of test wells in the Canterbury Basin, about 60 km from Blueskin Bay.  Shell is due to drill the following summer in the Great South Basin.
Anadarko's brand new drill ship, the Noble Bob Douglas, still being built in Korea, will have its test run in our ocean, drilling in 1.5 km deep water and down a possible further 4 km into the sea floor. New Zealand is a good place for them to test new equipment because a blowout in our waters will cost less than in the Gulf of Mexico, where they are headed next.
Foreign oil and gas companies don't have to pay an industry bond to cover liability in New Zealand.  There is a cap on how much they have to pay if there is a disaster and they get a tax exemption on profits until the end of 2014. In fact, we taxpayers are subsidising oil and gas companies, some of the richest companies in the world, to the tune of $46 million this year.
Anadarko is part-owner of the BP Deep Water Horizon rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, spewing around 780,000 cubic metres of oil into the Gulf.
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