EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today.

 

The EPA conducted an inspection of the Maui A and Maui B installations between May 27, 2014 and May 29, 2014. Official documents relating to the inspection say: “The EPA has come to the final conclusion that there were two instances of STOS not complying with the EEZ Act i.e. the two activities are considered to be in breach of section 20 of the EEZ Act and were undertaken without a marine consent.” The two instances are the drilling of wells MA-08A and MA-09A, which are extended reach wells.

 

“The Government’s cavalier attitude towards environmental protection has encouraged this type of cowboy behaviour by the oil industry,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

 

“National has created a culture in which environmental protection is not seen as very important and in which New Zealand rolls out the red carpet to the oil industry. In this context, it’s hardly surprising that a major oil company has broken our environmental protection law by drilling wells that the EPA says are illegal.  

 

“We now need the EPA to pursue prosecutions so that the industry learns its lessons. As the EPA says itself: ‘There have been breaches of the Act. If there is no action taken in response to the non-compliance, it is likely that the non-compliance would continue.’

 

“We need much greater protections for our marine environment.

 

“The EPA inspector has called for better protections, saying: ‘The level of non-compliance highlights a need for greater regulatory oversight.’

 

“The Green Party would strengthen legislation to protect our marine environment from the oil industry.

 

“We would also transition our economy away from dirty fuels and towards a clean energy future,” Dr Norman said.

References:

“There have been breaches of the Act. If there is no action taken in response to the non-compliance, it is likely that the non-compliance would continue.”, p 5, https://home.greens.org.nz/misc-documents/epa-memorandum-20-june-2014

 

EPA inspection report, p 8, “The level of non-compliance highlights a need for greater regulatory oversight”, https://home.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/epaoiashelltoddmaui_corre...

 

“The EPA has come to the final conclusion that there were two instances of STOS not complying with the EEZ Act”, https://home.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/epacorrespondence_enq-274...

 

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