Offshore rig protest was dumb and dangerous

The protest action against the COSL Prospector was dumb and dangerous, says the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ).

“It was an incredibly dangerous and stupid thing to do. These extremists put both themselves at risk and also the workers onboard who are just doing their jobs,” says PEPANZ Chief Executive John Carnegie.

“We respect the right to protest but it has to respect people’s safety, the law and the legal rights of others. To involve school children in breaking the law is also irresponsible.

“The law should apply to everyone equally and we would expect to see charges laid, just as they would be against anyone who breaks the law.

“This kind of radical approach will turn off most New Zealanders, with our latest opinion survey released last week showing only 20% of people having an unfavourable view of the oil and gas industry.  

“We support the transition to lower emissions but this doesn’t help at all. It’s extremely short-sighted and ignorant action, given we need natural gas to replace higher emitting sources and to support renewable electricity. This is exactly what the Interim Climate Change Committee recommended last year.

“Natural gas provides around 20% of New Zealand’s energy with no realistic or affordable alternatives yet to replace all of this. Surely it’s better for reputable companies such as OMV to produce our own lower-carbon energy here in New Zealand, rather than importing LNG and coal.”