Green Party: New Zealand Turns to Deep Sea Drilling Out of Desperation

New analysis by the Green Party shows that easy oil and gas in New Zealand is running out and the Government is turning to risky deep sea and ultra-deep sea drilling out of desperation.

Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes

Of the 405,000 square kilometres of land and sea offered for petroleum exploration permits in Block Offer 2014, 225,000 square kilometres (55%) is for deep sea drilling, 131,000 (32%) is for ultra-deep sea drilling, and only 49,000 square kilometres (12%) of the area is for shallow water or onshore drilling.

“The National Government’s petroleum programme is failing and they are turning to dangerous deep sea drilling and ultra-deep sea drilling out of desperation,” said Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes. “Oil production in New Zealand has fallen by 40% and oil export revenue by 47% under the current government, which is paying $45 million a year in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. It’s a well-established fact that when it comes to offshore drilling, the deeper you go, the greater the risk. When we look to the Gulf of Mexico, we see that 1 in 35 deep sea wells, and 1 in 19 ultra-deep sea wells, has had a spill.”

Hughes said that the risks to our climate were as worrisome as an oil spill.

“Scientists have told us that we can’t burn the majority of fossil fuels that have already been discovered. It’s reckless of this Government to be enticing foreign oil giants to come to New Zealand to conduct risky drilling activities in search of more climate polluting fossil fuels,” said Hughes.

“The IPCC report released this week makes it clear climate change is a threat to New Zealand and our way of life, and yet the Government still won’t give up its petroleum obsession. The Green Party would stop subsidising the fossil fuel industry, and support the development of clean energy,” said Hughes.

Press Release, April 04, 2014

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