Spill unlikely and it’s no secret

 “Ensuring that New Zealander's have responsible information about deep sea oil drilling is paramount to ensuring we can have a mature debate about our energy options as a country”, PEPANZ, CEO David Robinson said today.

 “Communities are calling for more responsible information about deep sea drilling. Instead, Labour Leader David Cunliffe’s announcement today is riddled with inaccurate assertions which are harmful to the oil and gas industry here in New Zealand and potential investors looking to come to our shores.

 “Labour claims they have ‘unearthed’ secret documents hidden by the Government – the truth is you can find the report online here. Or use Google.

 “They claim there is a “well /drilling site” in Kaikoura – again, this is incorrect. Anadarko has planned seismic surveys for the area – but that’s as far as it goes.

 “Taking information out of context or using images without the commentary and research it was published with is misleading and does not contribute to a balanced conversation that our country needs to have about energy.

“For example, a graphic used in a report written by Academic, Mark A Cohen, which Labour is referring to, used on its own suggests the deeper you drill offshore the probability of an incident grows to up to 70%. But when reading the report in its entirety it is clear that those statistics are about the number of incidents reported - injuries, falls or spills. The 70% does not refer simply the probability of a large oil spill – in fact it is saying the more people and machinery you use – the more chance there is of a cut finger, injury, fire or any other incident that you would see on a construction site anywhere.

“We know we still have a lot of work to do to provide Kiwis with responsible information to give them confidence that we operate safely, to the highest standards under robust regulations.

“We welcome Labour’s support for ‘the use of our natural resources if they can be extracted safely, if communities have their say, if there are the resources available to clean-up an oil spill and if the companies involved take full responsibility for any damage done’.

“With the world class standards our industry operates under, the real commitment we have to engaging with communities, the first class technologies to not only prevent incidents but to respond and our willingness to take responsibility for our operations should give Labour the confidence that their support of our industry is not misplaced,” David Robinson said.

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

Or go online to see deep sea drilling explained


Dr David Bennett

Adjunct Professor of Geophysics at Victoria University of Wellington,

021669358, david.bennett@vuw.ac.nz

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

John Callan, Communications Manager, GNS 04-570 4732, J.Callan@gns.cri.nz