Prospective NZ deep sea oil operator charged with environmental crimes

Press release - September 26, 2012
26/9/12 Auckland: The Brazilian oil company that plans to drill in the deep waters off the East Cape of New Zealand has been accused of negligence by state prosecutors in Brazil.

The state-owned oil company Petrobras has been charged with environmental crimes in relation to an alleged spill from a refinery into Guanabara Bay, near Rio de Janeiro, in June 2011 – the month after Greenpeace, East Cape iwi Te Whanau a Apanui, and others had been protesting against a deep sea oil survey being undertaken for the company off the Cape.

Reuters has quoted a Brazilian official as saying: “The Reduc [the refinery in question] acted with complete negligence. They knew since 2007 at least that the treatment stations were obsolete and not functioning adequately and they did nothing" (1).

Greenpeace New Zealand Senior Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer says that: “Environmental accidents and the oil industry go together like day and night. Just last week Shell seriously damaged a containment dome that it said would prevent an oil disaster in the Arctic, if a blow-out were to occur there. If the deep sea oil industry is allowed to establish itself in New Zealand waters, this is the sort of thing we will be exposed to.”


For more comment, call Jay Harkness, Greenpeace NZ Media and Communications, on 021 495 216.