Industry calls for mature conversation about safe deep sea drilling

The petroleum industry says it hopes Labour Leader David Cunliffe’s announcement today on deep sea petroleum exploration will contribute to a mature conversation about New Zealand’s energy future.

 The CEO of PEPANZ David Robinson said that like the Labour Party, the industry agrees operators exploring for oil off our coast must adhere to the strictest regulations, operate to world class standards as well as being open and transparent about the response capabilities and risks of drilling out at sea.

 “Here in New Zealand we have world class regulations in place. The rulebook has been rewritten to take into account lessons we have learnt from the Gulf of Mexico incident and new technologies that have been put in place.

“We acknowledge that as an industry we need to do a better job of providing the information New Zealanders need to feel safe and secure about what we do, and our response in an unlikely situation where there is an incident

“What our country does not need is unbalanced information, or scaremongering tactics, to further a particular cause or campaign.

“Taking information out of context or using images without the commentary and research it was published with, is misleading and does not add to the mature conversation that our country needs to have.

 “An oil spill is a serious matter and the industry acknowledges peoples genuine concerns.

“Thousands of deep sea wells have been drilled around the world - and are producing the oil and gas the world relies on safely and reliably.

 “Our industry works to the highest possible standards and we deal in facts. We trust that New Zealanders will look at the facts, the benefits of growing the oil and gas industry – the jobs and income it creates and has created in Taranaki and base their opinions on those facts.

“We look forward to Labour’s announcement today and hope they contribute fully to providing sound facts to New Zealanders and encourage a mature conversation about New Zealand’s energy options today and tomorrow.

For more information about Deep sea drilling the following people are available for comment:

Dr David Bennett

Adjunct Professor of Geophysics at Victoria University of Wellington,


Dr Rosalind Archer Assoc. Professor, Head of Department, Department of Engineering Science, University of Auckland, (Dr Archer is currently in KL and available via email)

John Callan, Communications Manager, GNS 04-570 4732,