Anadarko Challenged to Release Oil Spill Data

Press release - October 24, 2013
Oil driller Anadarko have today been challenged to release their own data showing the potential impact an oil spill could have on New Zealand.

The Texan company have so far withheld the full findings of their own reports from the public, for both deep-sea drill sites off the North Island and Otago, simulating an oil spill in New Zealand waters.

Greenpeace, who yesterday released a computer oil spill modelling report by Wellington based data scientists Dumpark, have called on the Texan oil company, due to start drilling for oil off the coast of New Zealand in the coming months, to stop hiding their own findings from the public.

Yesterday, Anadarko admitted some of their results did show oil hitting land. Alan Seay, the company’s corporate affairs manager, told listeners of Nine to Noon on Radio NZ National that, in a scenario within Anadarko’s modelling, “yes, oil will reach shore”.

Steve Abel of Greenpeace said: “Anadarko can no longer hide their oil spill findings from the public. They’ve got information locked away on what kind of impacts a spill could have on our seas and our beaches, and they should absolutely make this publicly available.

“They’ve already admitted that their own spill modelling shows oil hitting our coast, which is presumably why they’re trying to suppress their findings from the public.”

Yesterday’s report shows the blowout effects of two planned deep-sea drilling locations off the West Coast of the North Island and the East Coast of the South Island. The deepest current production well in New Zealand is 125 meters. Texan oil driller Anadarko is scheduled to begin the first deep-sea drilling (at 1500 meters) this summer off Auckland’s West Coast. The modelling for the north shows the likelihood of oil hitting Auckland’s iconic West Coast beaches and harbours. In the south, a spill off the coast of Otago could spread across the Chatham Rise - a vital commercial fishing ground and marine wildlife habitat - reaching all the way to the Chatham Islands.

Spill modelling reports are a permitting requirement for oil drilling, however the full and detailed data of deep-sea oil spill modelling reports have not yet been made publicly available on the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) website or by Maritime New Zealand (1).


(1) According to Anadarko’s Environmental Impact Assesment document September 2013, Page 117: MetOcean Solutions Limited was contracted to undertake an oil spill trajectory model study to determine the fate, timing and potential of coastal beaching in the unlikely event of a lost of well control.  This oil spill trajectory study was undertaken as part of the DMP [discharge management plan] required under part 200 which Anadarko has submitted to Maritime NZ for approval (see DMP Annex D).


For more information, contact:

Steve Abel, climate and energy campaigner, Greenpeace: +6421927301


Ana Mules, communications officer, Greenpeace: +64 21 2609186