Media release: Oil Free Wellington
The oil surveying ship Aquila Explorer is moored at Wellington harbour near Aotea Quay. Owned by the international company SeaBird Exploration, the Aquila is leaving port on Thursday to begin surveying work in the Canterbury Basin for Shell.
This is part of the Government’s massive expansion of fossil fuel extraction, and further demonstrates that their Mine It and Drill It attitude continues today.
The Texan oil giant Anadarko’s permit for exploration of the Canterbury Basin, which stretches from Christchurch to Dunedin, has been followed by exploration permits for the Canadian owned TAG Oil (2012), and NZOG Devon (2012). Anadarko has already begun exploratory drilling near Raglan, and will begin exploratory drilling in the Canterbury Basin this February. It is also likely that seismic surveying of the Pegasus Basin, 30 km south of Wellington, will occur this Summer as well.
Local groups have formed throughout Aotearoa expressing their clear opposition. From Northland to Dunedin groups are campaigning against this expansion of fossil fuel extraction. However, it is clear from their ongoing amendments to legislation that this Government is not interested in local opinion and consent.
Oil Free Wellington spokesperson Fi Gibson said “we’re opposed to deep sea oil drilling because of the very real risk of an oil spill. However, we’re also opposed to this ongoing expansion of fossil fuel extraction because of the equally real threat of climate change. During a time when we’re supposed to be decreasing our carbon emissions it makes no sense to be using these dangerous methods, such as deep sea drilling, to find more carbon to burn.”