Oil Free Otago,Extinction Rebellion and Environmental Justice Otepoti protesters in Queenstown before the 2019 NZ Petroleum Conference

OMG! OMV – Who are they and what are they doing here?

OMV is a huge Austrian oil company, one of the 100 companies responsible for more than 70% of the world’s climate pollution since 1988.

Even though Jacinda Ardern’s government banned new deep sea drilling permits in April 2018, existing permits were allowed to continue. OMV purchased Shell’s Great South Basin permit and now, after the departure of Shell, Petrobras, Anadarko, Chevron and Statoil (now Equinor), OMV is the last oil giant still here. OMG, OMV, it’s time to GTFO too.

It’s 2019. We are in a climate emergency. Wildfires are raging in California, the Amazon and the Middle East. Super typhoon Hagibis was the biggest wettest typhoon in Japan’s history.  School children around the world have walked out of school to demand a liveable future. Governments and Councils have declared a climate and ecological emergency in response to the massively growing climate movement.

Yet, right now OMV is getting ready to drill a deep ocean exploratory well for oil and gas in the Great South Basin, in one of the most treacherous, isolated oceans in the world. More oil and gas when we know we can’t burn most of what is already discovered if we are to stay within a survivable limit of global warming. To search for more, now, in our precious southern ocean is madness. Worse, it’s immoral.

OMV say it’s gas, not oil, they’re looking for. So – if they strike oil will they leave it there? Hell no!!!

But GAS IS NOT A TRANSITION FUEL – It’s a Climate Disaster!!

  • Gas is almost all Methane – way more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2 – and it leaks – from the well site, from pipelines, at every point along its distribution network. Latest research puts natural gas up there with coal as a climate polluter.
  • But even without considering methane, Gas Breaks the Carbon Budget. There’s too much carbon in the natural gas we’ve already discovered for us to stay within the carbon budget promised in Paris. That’s the amount of fossil fuels we can afford to burn and still remain below the accepted 2 degrees C of global warming.
  • Timing is all wrong. If discovered it would take 10-15 years before the gas or oil would be commercially available. That’s nuts! By then – 2035 – we need to be out of gas worldwide.
  • Renewables are getting cheaper. Gas exploration now is wasting the precious resources and time needed to transition to a simpler, renewably powered future. And – there are way more jobs building our renewable powered low carbon economy. Fossil fuels have to go. Our future depends on it
  • Availability – any new gas discovered would go directly for export. There are no gas pipelines in the South Island and anyway, the industry says that if gas is discovered in the GSB it would be converted at sea to LNG (liquified natural gas) and go for export. More profit for them. All the risk for us. No royalties go to the regions. No cheaper petrol. No local gas for the barbie.

Please help us kick OMV out. We’re building up people power now! We’ve got posters, signs and banners to make, a gas forum to disrupt and some more creative civil disobedience coming up. Have you got a kayak? Great, we have a plan. If not, we still need you.