Sea Borne Protest Against Otago Drilling Announced

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Press Release Oil Free Otago
Thursday 30 January 2014

At 8am tomorrow the SV Tiama will be arriving in Dunedin to meet with Oil Free Otago and discuss plans for setting sail to protest against Anadarko’s drill ship, the Noble Bob Douglas, 60km off the coast of Tairoa Heads where Anadarko intend to begin exploratory deep sea oil drilling in coming days.

The Tiama and Oil Free Otago intend to peacefully confront the Anadarko commissioned drillship the Noble Bob Douglas, and request that they halt their operations for the sake of the climate, our local economy, and the coastlines of New Zealand.

Tiama skipper, Henk Haazen, has been involved with protesting nuclear testing in the Pacific, and deep sea oil drilling (both off the East Cape against Petrobras in 2010, and more recently off the coast of Raglan against Anadarko). Henk, and the Bluff based SV Tiama, now join Oil Free Otago to oppose deep sea drilling off the coast of Otago.

“Henk has defended our oceans for decades, so it’s great to have someone with such a wealth of experience to support us, the people of Otago, in standing up to Anadarko,” said Oil Free Otago spokesperson Niamh O’Flynn.

Haazen said, “As a part of the Oil Free Seas flotilla that formed off Raglan in November to protest Anadarko’s drilling in New Zealand waters and the dangers that this deep sea drilling brings to our oceans and coastlines, I am proud to show support for communities who are demanding a clean energy future.”

The Noble Bob Douglas is at the end of their drilling program 110 nautical miles off the coast of Raglan, and their arrival in Otago waters is expected imminently.
Their drill in the Canterbury Basin will be their second deep sea exploratory well to be drilled in New Zealand. Exploratory drilling is the riskiest stage of drilling and lead to the worst oceanic oil spill in history in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 for which Anadarko (as 25% owner of the Macondo Prospect) were found jointly and severally liable by US Courts.
Anadarko have undertaken spill modelling based on striking condensate off Otago (not gas).

Oil Free Otago is inviting other boat boat owners to join in a peaceful protest flotilla. To join, please contact Niamh O’Flynn.

SV Tiama will be docking at 8.00am tomorrow morning at 1 Birch Street, in Otago Harbour.

Contact: Niamh O’Flynn 022 094 5355
http://www.oilfreeotago@gmail.com

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