Oil Company’s Own Data Shows Oil Could Wash onto New Zealand Coasts

Press release - December 13, 2013
Oil could wash up on New Zealand shorelines if there was an accident at Anadarko’s drilling site off the west coast, according to the Texan company’s own data.

According to information just released, Anadarko’s modelling assumed a spill rate of 12,000 barrels of oil every day for one well location and 18,000 barrels at another. Greenpeace’s own spill modelling report, released in October, which was called “scare-mongering” by prime minister John Key, assumed a more conservative 10,000 barrels per day.

Anadarko’s oil spill data estimates a spill would reach New Zealand shores in 66.05% of cases in autumn and 51.82% in summer.

The information has only become publicly available this afternoon following requests made under the Official Information Act and in Parliament. Oil companies are required to compile these documents and submit them to government. However, the information was omitted from wider documents made available in September.

The documents are also at the middle of a current High Court case. Earlier this week, lawyers for Greenpeace argued that the government’s Environmental Protection Authority made an ‘error in law’ by allowing Anadarko to go-ahead with its drilling programme without looking at these very documents, which include reports on oil spill modelling and emergency plans to deal with an oil spill.

Minister for Energy and Resources Simon Bridges has repeatedly claimed that exploratory deepwater drilling “is a highly regulated area where we put businesses like Anadarko through the wringer” [1].

Nathan Argent, chief policy advisor for Greenpeace, said: “The industry’s own data shows that oil could end up on our beaches. And there’s more than a hint that the government and the oil lobbyists colluded to keep this secret. They simply do not want the New Zealand public to know about the potential for an oil spill.

“The whole government process around deepsea oil drilling has swung between utter farce and total shambles.”

The full document release is here: http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/Environmental/Environmental-requirements/Requirements-for-installations/Disharge-management-plans.asp



For more information, contact:

Nathan Argent, chief policy advisor for Greenpeace: 021 971234

Steve Abel, energy campaigner for Greenpeace: 021 927301

Niall Bennett, head of communications for Greenpeace: 0221 831740