Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

Guest Post: Is the “Aberdeen of the South” an idea past its time?

Is the “Aberdeen of the South” an idea past its time?

Guest post by Professor Colin Campbell-Hunt

colin pic

There are very many of us in Dunedin who will want to welcome Shell and the promise of economic activity that exploration brings. If I were to look ahead only 10 years I might be one. But I have learned a thing or two about oil and gas in the last few years that would urge caution. This is an industry that only has a decade or so of growth left, so if we want our city to invest in infrastructure for industries that will secure our prosperity for the future, oil and gas exploration should be well down the list. Here’s why.

First, even the short-term benefits may be much less than we might think. A 2012 study by the economic consultancy BERL concludes that the prime contractor for engineering and construction would be a large offshore-based multinational. Some sub-contracting work may come to local New Zealand firms, but BERL concludes that few New Zealand companies outside of Taranaki have the expertise required to win contracts for the work.

Second, the same BERL study concludes that the number of sustained jobs created for the local economy would settle at around 200 following a spurt of up to 1,000 jobs during a three-year development phase. It is unlikely that the oil or gas produced would come ashore; more likely it would be shipped directly from a sea-based platform.

So far, the project looks to make reasonable sense, both for Shell, and for Dunedin. But look out beyond 2020 and the horizon looks a lot darker for the oil industry.

The third – and far more serious concern – arises from the effect on the planet’s climate of burning fossil fuels and releasing carbon dioxide CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Climate modellers at the Potsdam Institute in Germany estimate that if we put another 500 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere beyond 2013 levels, we would face a one-in-four chance of the planet warming by more than 2C. And if we were to increase that to 1,000 billion tonnes, the chances rise to 50:50.

So how much CO2 is there for us to burn? A 2013 study by the Grantham Institute at the London School of Economics reports that the world’s current proven reserves already contain between 3 and 6 times more CO2 than we could safely throw into the skies. Corporate oil alone has more than enough reserves to blow out the 500 billion tonne budget.

Why does the 2C limit matter? Beyond 2C, science warns that we open ourselves to the possibility of runaway climate change wreaking serious havoc to the world’s population, economy, food supply and political stability. These are not the wild imaginings of prophets of doom who would urge us to climb up a hill somewhere and wait for the world to end. These are level-headed assessment of risks that the human (and non-human) populations of earth are facing right now.

So where is this going to leave the oil industry? At the present rate of emissions, we will hit the 500 billion tonne warning sign in just ten years. If we wanted to keep our chances of avoiding more radical change to just 1-in-4, that would have to be the end of CO2 emissions – not another tonne, ever. Of course that is not going to happen. We are riding on a super tanker that is going to take years to bring to a halt, and this is something that is increasingly accepted – with dismay – by the people who follow these trends. The fact that the oil industry is willing to invest in exploration for new sources of hydrocarbon when we already have far more than we should ever burn tells us that they don’t believe the political will to change our ways will stiffen up any time soon. Which in turn tells us that we, the voters, want to keep our good life for as long as we can too.

But spool forward 10 years, or twenty. The pressures of climate change are only going to get stronger; the realisation of the risks we are running can only get firmer; the prospect of controls being placed on the burning of CO2 can only get greater. A far-offshore gas field is expected to have a life of 35 years. If we are beginning to understand the dangers of climate change now in 2014, we can be very sure they will have radically changed the rules for the oil industry by 2060.

So should Dunedin hitch its economic wagon to this dying industry? Should we be building the public infrastructures to support an industry that has such a poor long-term future? Should we be anxious to attract a business that might deliver 1,000 jobs for three years, then only a quarter of that for however many years it takes before expensive deep sea gas wells get shut down – if indeed they are ever put into production?

There has to be a better way. Developing assets – both physical and human – for the city’s infrastructure to be ready for a low-carbon economy and low-carbon lifestyles will give us a far greater chance of delivering benefit over their productive life than any investments we may be tempted to devote to a dying oil industry.

Colin Campbell-Hunt is a Professor in the University of Otago Business School and has written widely on New Zealand’s competitiveness.

Whose Seas Are These?

Guest Blog
by Rev Dr Peter Matheson
Reverend Doctor Peter Matheson, former lecturer in theology, sends a message to the drill ship the Noble Bob Douglas explaining his opposition to deep sea drilling.  The Oil Free Otago flotilla is a coalition of Otago residents who oppose deep sea drilling off our coast. Photo by Nick Tapp - nicktappvideo.com

Reverend Doctor Peter Matheson, former lecturer in theology, sends a message to the drill ship the Noble Bob Douglas explaining his opposition to deep sea drilling. The Oil Free Otago flotilla is a coalition of Otago residents who oppose deep sea drilling off our coast. Photo by Nick Tapp – nicktappvideo.com

Whose Seas Are These?

Aged 75, I  was  on a yacht for the first time in my life, the heave of the open ocean
beneath my feet.  There were eight of us, soon melded into a team under  Henk, our
charismatic captain:  Brendan a kaitiaki from the Karitane marae, Damien, from Radio
Live, Jeremy, conservation consultant, Niamh,  spokesperson for Oil Free  Otago, Bob,
scientific expert on global warming, and  Ian, a film-maker.  Majestic it felt, heading up
the harbour on full sail,  little groups  on headlands waving placards and cheering us on,
cars  tooting approval. With our sister-ship, the Erewhon, the send-off from Dunedin
Habour reminded us  of the many  environmental, scientific, church, community groups
we represented.
It was misty, quite chilly up top. I was glad of my Swan-Dry.   Our mission was to
confront the drilling-ship, the Noble Bob Douglas, using the sling-shot of words
against this Texan intruder, whose exclusion zone, as Brendan  pointed out, blocked the
traditional passage-way of the waka.  “Whose seas are these?” he asked on
radio-telephone, as  the huge bulk of the drilling ship loomed over us. No answer, of
course.
Good not to live in Putin’s Russia, though.  Our right to protest was respected by
Anadarko.  Yet they appeared to play sneaky games, shutting off their positioning gear,
so we  could not calculate their time of arrival at the drilling site, 65 kilometers off  our
coast.  So we waited  the night out off Aramoana, scene of another successful protest
three decades  ago against that aluminium smelter.
“Whose seas are these?”  Occasionally I’ve seen an albatross or two at the Heads. But
here they were all round the boat, wheeling, soaring, resting on the water, dozens of
them. Petrels, seven other varieties of birds, seals, we even saw two spouting whales.
When eventually the supply boat of the drilling ship bore down on us, a cordon of
toroa,  of albatross sat on the waves as if to protect us. Incredible!   Unforgetable!
Two worlds confronted one another.  The cultivated voice of the American captain
graciously permitted us  to  speak our piece.  First an impassioned address in te reo by
Waiariki, then seventeen year old Toria, hoping desperately her generation would still
have a world to live in (both from the Erewhon), me on the moral challenge, Bob Lloyd
on the insanity of deep sea drilling from a scientific point of view, Niamh, reminding
the intruders of our community support, finally Brendan: “Whose  seas are these?”
“You can’t build a  society on greed”  David Hume, the great Scottish enlightenment
philosopher once said.  “ Sin is bad, but stupidity is irredeemable”, as  Dietrich
Bonhoeffer, appalled by  Nazi Germany put it.   Greed and stupidity  are powering this
drive to Deep Sea  Oil, supported (alas ) by Government, vast financial interests, by the
majority of the media.  Ordinary good, decent  people  still think we can power on as
we are, relying  on  more and more oil.  Yet we only have ten years to dramatically
decrease the carbon emissions, before  we  overrun the  2% increase in global warming,
and  then  we’re  into a truly apocalyptic scenario.  “Woe unto you,” said the Hebrew
prophets.
At heart it’s a question  of  moral authority and whether rationality will prevail.  Whom do
you believe? Anadarko, the Government, have all the power. But do you believe them? Can
you trust them with the lives of our children and children’s children? That is the question
our symbolic protest poses. A dramatic turn-around towards sustainability is the greatest
ethical challenge of our time, and every one of us has the responsibility to rub our eyes,
wake up, and engage with this debate. We’re not asking you to believe us, but to look at the
evidence, face the despair, to overcome it by taking appropriate action. The prayer of those
of us on the Tiama and the Erehwon is that you ask our leaders, with life and death urgency,
to think again.

Otago Flotilla Photos

 

Press Release: Otago Flotilla Comes Face to Face with Anadarko Drillship

Oil Free Seas Flotilla, Oil Free Otago

Noble Bob Douglas and SV Baltazar off Raglan coast 2013

At 8:00 this evening, the Oil Free Otago Flotilla came face to face with Anadarko’s drillship, the Noble Bob Douglas. The yachts of the flotilla occupied the site where the Noble Bob Douglas intends to drill its exploratory well. Via radio, the Otago community leaders on board SV Tiama, voiced their opposition to the drilling plans to the captain of the drillship as it approached. The spokespeople represented a range of different groups within the Otago community. Each person spoke to their area of expertise, ranging from climate change to concerns for fisheries, but all came together to share a common message – Stop deep sea drilling off our coast.

“My responsibility as Kaitiaki is to protect and enhance our Taonga. It’s not just about now, it’s about the future,” said Brendan Flack, Tangata Tiaki.

Rev Dr Peter Matheson told the captain of the ship, “Anadarko’s actions are criminally irresponsible, and, from my religious perspective, structurally sinful. There will be no blessing upon them.”Professor of physics, Bob Lloyd, addressed the issue of climate change, and stressed that “we simply cannot go after unconventional fossil fuels, such as deep sea oil and gas, if we are to stay below the 2 degree warming limit.”. Torea Scott-Fyfe represented the youth in her call for Anadarko to abandon their drilling plans “to allow us to have a liveable future.”

The flotilla now intends to return back to Otago to bring their fight back to land. “This fight is not over. No matter how many closed-door meetings you have, or how far out to sea you go, we will be there every step of the way to oppose deep sea drilling,” said Niamh O’Flynn, spokesperson for Oil Free Otago.

Photos and Video from the flotilla coming soon.

Press Release – Otago community leaders set sail in protest of deep sea drilling

7 February 2014

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Otago community leaders set sail in protest of deep sea drilling

This weekend, the Oil Free Otago Flotilla will depart from Dunedin to confront Anadarko’s drillship, the Noble Bob Douglas, 35 nautical miles off Taiaroa Head. The flotilla comprises of three yachts from around Otago and Southland.

Otago community leaders will be on board the lead yacht, Tiama, including Rev. Dr Peter Matheson, and Physicist, Professor Bob Lloyd.

The Flotilla will communicate directly with the drillship requesting that Anadarko halt their drilling operations in New Zealand. Each community leader will outline their reasons for opposing the impending drilling.

“This group of local leaders are here to protect our city, our climate, economy and coastlines from deep sea drilling. Dunedin has the expertise and the capacity to be at the forefront of clean, innovative energy solutions, and that’s what we should be focusing on instead of risky deep sea drilling”, said Oil Free Otago spokesperson, Niamh O’Flynn.

Brendon Flack, Tangata Kaitiaki said “’Our responsibility as kaitiaki is to protect and enhance all of our taonga. It’s not about us, it’s about the future, and if we want a better future oil and gas exploration is not the answer. Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei. For us and those after us.”

The Noble Bob Douglas has just completed their drilling program 110 nautical miles off the coast of Raglan and are expected to arrive in Otago sometime over the next three days to drill in the Canterbury Basin. This will be their second deep sea exploratory well in New Zealand. Exploratory drilling is the riskiest stage of drilling.

“Unless the public protest the insanity of putting ever more carbon into the atmosphere we will be headed into a world that will be radically different from the one we now occupy and one that I personally don’t want to  happen,” said Professor Bob Lloyd.

Reverend Peter Matheson said, “Some issues are too serious to be solemn about.Taking to sea against Deep Sea Oil Drilling is as ridiculous as David fronting up to Goliath. Anyone remember who won, by the way?”

The boats taking part in the flotilla include Tiama, skippered by Henk Haazen,  and Erehwon, skippered by Invercargill teacher, Carlos Legaz.

The flotilla will set sail on Saturday from Dunedin Harbour.

Just who is crazy? – Guest Post – Bob Lloyd

Just who is crazy? – Guest Post – Bob Lloyd.

Deep Sea Oil Drilling in NZ : just who is crazy?

I think the time has come to ask the question just who is crazy, regarding exploring for oil off the NZ coast? The numbers coming from climate change scientists vary from being very scary to the “oh shit it’s too late” variety. The very scary numbers suggest that we have around two decades to completely decarbonise the world’s economy. This decarbonisation must be done while there are over 1000 large coal fired power stations on the world’s drawing boards, non-conventional tight oil and gas are being exploited by fracking and the deep ocean scoured for new resources. The “too late” variety include NASA scientist Jim Hansen, who has researched the earth’s past climate to obtain a safe limit of 350 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. We are now close to 400ppm and so according to Hansen’s numbers we should stop all CO2 emissions immediately and then start sequestering carbon by tree planting and burying biomass as carbon in the soil.

The main task in ensuring a habitable climate for future humanity and at the same time providing energy for our continued social existence is to stop carbon dioxide emissions and transition to a sustainable energy economy. With the present (unsustainable) world economy so closely linked to fossil fuel use it would be clearly very difficult to stop all emissions immediately. Even Jim Hansen realises this and so some years ago he suggested a transition program which envisaged developed countries closing down all coal fired power plants by 2020 and developing countries doing the same by 2030. In addition Hansen is opposed to any further exploration or exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbons and has been arrested several times for opposing the pipeline to transport oil from Canadian tar-sands to the US. There is of course no evidence that his advice is being followed.

I have been looking at this problem for some years now and it has made me very pessimistic as to our future. Why are people not waking up to the situation and trying to do something about it? How can people go on with their normal everyday lives, ignoring the profound and catastrophic implications of not making an urgent transition away from fossil fuels? Is there something wrong with the way the human mind is constructed that they can see the problem but be paralyzed in terms of action? My pessimistic reputation in this regard led to a group of students at the University of Otago running a lecture titled “Cheer up Bob” in which they tried to prove to me that change was possible and that the young people of the city of Dunedin were up to the challenge. This year Greenpeace NZ, together with concerned residents of New Zealand, formed a consortium called “The Oil Free Seas Flotilla” to challenge the exploration for deep sea oil and or gas by Anadarko and Shell in NZ waters. The deep sea oil and gas that they are looking for are not part of the world’s known reserves and so by all scientific accounts cannot be used if we are to keep our climate habitable.

The Oil Free Seas Flotilla group are thus trying to preserve the climate of the earth for future generations. They want an orderly transition to sustainable energy sources that don’t emit the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. They are not wanting to shut down the world economy by preventing all existing emissions, they are not protesting the existing extraction of known resources in Taranaki . They realise that there needs to be clear market signals that a transition away from fossil fuels is the only way to go. That NZ should be investing in wind energy, solar energy and its biomass resources. One of my recent students found for instance that it is currently economic to put solar PV on your rooftop in nearly all parts of NZ.

The opposition to deep sea oil drilling does not want to stop conventional oil from being exploited especially for uses that don’t emit carbon into the atmosphere. In fact the best use of remaining oil reserves may well be to use them for construction materials, pharmaceuticals, fertiliser production and lubricants. Future generations may suggest to their parents on past use of oil “you actually used to burn this valuable stuff?”

In terms of the possible discovery of gas instead of oil, it is true that natural gas is a lower greenhouse gas emitter than coal by weight, so its use in power stations is to be preferred, but if this means that world gas use will increase, as it is at present, then a 50% improvement in emissions reduction will be wiped out in a mere ten years and such a substitution will not send the right signals in terms of a transition to sustainable energy sources in the time available, which is also of the order of ten years. In addition such a substitution will deliver profits to the very companies, such as Anadarko, that will use the money to search for yet more oil and gas and so again deliver more CO2 into the atmosphere. Finally the delivery of the gas is likely to come just too late. We have to stop the cycle of fossil fuel dependence, not extend it. The gas transition argument is just not valid.

So is the protest against oil drilling a crazy objective or is it that the people ignoring the climate change problem that are crazy? That is the serious question that must be answered by the residents of New Zealand. Are short term profits for a few worth the incredible risks involved? Certainly vested interests want to continue the status quo, that is using all the oil, gas and coal until the earth is wrung dry by fracking, deep sea oil and gas extraction and mining the dirtiest coal that can be obtained from the ground. The two thirds or so of existing fossil fuels that cannot (should not) be extracted add up to hundreds of trillions of dollars of profits. But what do profits mean when the earth is uninhabitable? Or more to the point what do dollars mean when there is nothing to spend them on?

While the visible signs of global warming are increasing every year, world governments are obviously incapable of acting to mitigate climate change. Why? – Due to their focus on economic growth and their subservience to the fossil fuel lobby. Thus unless the general population of all countries, including NZ, express their concern by protesting and trying to stop the insanity, governments will continue not to act. It may be that to just sit on your backside vaguely contemplating the problem and not protest is crazy.

Guest post by Associate Professor Bob Lloyd. He is Director of the Energy Studies and Energy Management degrees in the Physics Department, Otago University, Dunedin.

http://www.otago.ac.nz/physics/staff/BobLloyd.html

OFO/DCC Submission to Petroleum Block Offer 2014

Otago Harbour

Otago Harbour

Oil Free Otago’s submission to the Dunedin City Council submission to Petroleum Block Offer 2014.
DCC now have until 14 November to correlate residents’ responses and write their own submission. All residents’ submissions will be attached as an appendix which will go to NZ Petroleum and Minerals (NZPAM), which reports to Simon Bridges, Minister of Energy and Resources.

Submission on Petroleum Block Offer 2014 consultation

To the Dunedin City Council

policy@dcc.govt.nz

31 October 2013

From: OIL FREE OTAGO

Email contact details: oilfreeotago@gmail.com

Kia ora

Oil Free Otago acknowledge the government’s commitment to consult with iwi and hapu about Block Offer 2014 and are pleased to accept the mana whenua’s important role as Kaitiaki of the coast and ocean on behalf of us all. However, we do not accept that other residents will not be consulted. Even local authorities are not being consulted, but onlynotified to ensure an informed and robust process“. This is not acceptable.

The risks to Dunedin (and in the wider context to all New Zealanders and to the world) of deep sea drilling off the Otago coast and anywhere in our exclusive economic zone are so serious that we recommend that all deep sea exploration and drilling in NZ should cease. The two major risks are local, to the environment and the economy and global, to climate change.

Environment and economy 

A major gas blowout or oil spill has the potential to ruin Dunedin’s environment and economy, due to its effect on: 

Our Otago coast’s clean unspoilt beauty, its unique wildlife and the special lifestyle it affords (surfing, diving, boating etc) – and on the importance of NZ’s 100% pure clean green brand.

Dunedin’s ecotourism which brings around $100 million annually into our local economy. Wildlife that would be affected includes:

yellow eyed penguins

Northern royal albatross (more albatross species breed in our exclusive economic zone than anywhere else in the world)

world’s rarest sea lion, the NZ sea lion

38 of the world’s 80 whale and dolphin species breed here. Whales are returning to the Otago coast after many years’ absence.

The fishing industry – commercial, recreational and customary. Fishing is New Zealand’s fifth largest industry, generating $1.2 – 1.5 billion per year. The fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico may take 50 years to recover from the Deepwater Horizon disaster – if ever. (John Wathen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yduv3APYawA)

Rather than being an economic boon as many suggest or believe, the industry is an economic and social burden. 

The oil and gas industry has already cost taxpayers $46 million this year. (http://awsassets.wwfnz.panda.org/downloads/wwf_fossil_fuel_finance_nz_subsidies_report.pdf)

We could not afford a disaster. The Deepwater Horizon disaster cost Americans $42.2 billion. (wikipedia)

Jobs will not be for local people – they will be specialist positions for foreign or out of town experts (http://www.med.govt.nz/sectors-industries/natural-resources/pdf-docs-library/oil-and-gas/economic-contribution-of-oil-and-gas-industry/BERL%20report.pdf)

Infrastructure costs, for example improving Dunedin airport for larger industry traffic, would likely fall upon the ratepayer and taxpayer with no regional royalties from the industry.

Concern of the social impact of a large extractive industry offshore – what effects will fly-in fly-out workers have on our safe Dunedin social fabric?

It is economically naive to invest money and energy in exploring for and producing a product that must not be used due to climate change (see below). For our local community to depend on oil or gas for its wellbeing makes no economic or social sense whatsoever (eg: Environmental Debt, Amy Larkin, 2013 p150)

Anadarko were a 25% co-owner of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and received daily reports of events leading up to that disaster. It appears they were not a passive investor as asserted by NZ’s Anadarko CEO on Campbell Live 8 October 2013. This assertion and other incidents, such as a US class actions against them, the Anadarko NZ companies being registered in the Cayman Islands (why, if not to avoid paying income tax?), their lack of transparency whilst visiting Dunedin and their use of military counterinsurgency tactics against US citizen industry activists (http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/11/11/gas-companies-caught-using-military-strategies-to-overcome-drilling-concerns/) do not paint Anadarko as a trustworthy corporate citizen yet we are being asked to trust them with our ocean and livelihoods. Is this the type of company we should invite to Dunedin?

The risky nature of deep sea drilling in the New Zealand context

The treacherous southern ocean environment – weather extremes, ocean currents from the Antarctic, huge swells as high as six story buildings. (http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/en/reports/Out-Of-Our-Depth-Deep-sea-oil-exploration-in-New-Zealand/)

The distance from help. Relief rigs, if available at all, could be months away and capping devices, the closest of which may be in Singapore, would take at least two weeks to get here. (evidence presented by Shell at August 2013 consultation meeting)

The inadequacy of our Maritime NZ response unit – three “tinnies” with no subsea response capacity.

The government’s use of Corexit. The government has not ruled out using Corexit in the event of a disaster. It used Corexit for two weeks after the Rena oil spill. Corexit is a known carcinogen that has been banned in European countries. It must be banned here and not used again as an oil spill response tool.

Risk data put forward by companies such as Anadarko is historical and not relevant to the untried conditions of our southern ocean.

Climate Change

New Zealand, along with many other countries, has agreed to limit global warming to two degrees, yet its policies contradict this agreement. In order to meet its obligation to the world community and to future generations, 80% of already discovered burnable carbon (oil, gas and coal) must stay in the ground. To stay below the two degree limit all coal must be phased out by 2030, there must be no more drilling for polar or deep sea (marginal) oil and gas, and the remaining conventional oil and gas must be used to urgently build up the infrastructure needed for a low carbon future. (ref: Professor Bob Lloyd, University of Otago, September 2013) It is therefore irresponsible at this time to drill for more, marginal, deep sea oil or gas in dangerous frontier regions such as our southern ocean.

DCC’s submission to last year’s 2013 Petroleum Block Offer recognized the cost to communities of adaptation and mitigation of effects of climate change, and recognised oil and gas’s contribution to climate change but did not appear to join the dots. Governments and local authorities have a duty of care to their citizens. To endorse deep sea drilling off our coast is to disregard this duty.

Alternatives

Climate change mitigation and adaptation measures must match the seriousness of the issue. National and local leaders no longer have the luxury of ignorance nor of failing to join the dots. If we are to take the experts at their word, a ‘wartime response’ to climate change will be needed to keep global warming to a level that will allow for the survival of future Dunedin citizens. Fortunately, we have the ability to make the changes needed in Dunedin and with courage from our leaders could achieve it. Changes are already being made, as proposed in much of the DCC Energy plan, such as making Dunedin a more cycle-friendly city. We have the know-how for an electric car conversion industry to begin immediately to convert Dunedin’s transport fleet. We must encourage local food and low carbon industries such as the electric tram, trains and make public transport affordable and attractive to use. We must stop burning dirty, polluting lignite and coal in our boilers and homes. And again, we recommend that all deep sea exploration and drilling in NZ should cease. There is no time to waste.

Deep Sea Drilling – A Local Perspective

This summer Anadarko Petroleum Corporation intends to begin exploratory deep-sea oil drilling in the Canterbury Basin, off the coast of Otago. Shell are also currently considering deep-sea drilling in the Great South Basin, and using Dunedin as a base. This film gives the perspective of several local academics and prominent members of the community. It addresses the economic, environmental and social issues involved with deep sea drilling off the coast of Otago.

Lush Support on World Oceans Day

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The serious business of shopping was interrupted on Saturday by scantily clad oily people at Lush that caught the attention of bemused shoppers – and their other halves.Lush

Oil Free Otago members held the event, in conjunction with Lush, to coincide with World Oceans Day. On World Oceans Day and we wanted to alert Dunedin people that our ocean is at risk. Anadarko, partners in BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, are coming to drill for oil off our coast this summer. Shell are also looking to start deep sea drilling in the Great South Basin soon.While these companies get tax exemptions, government subsidies and almost all the profit, we get all the risk of an oil spill.

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What about the jobs and prosperity Anadarko and Shell might bring to Dunedin? Check out last year’s Ministry of Economic Development report (Regional Impacts of a New Oil or Gas Field).This report says it is highly unlikely that companies would invest in onshore infrastructure. They will export the oil and gas directly. We won’t see it unless it washes up on our beaches.

If that happens, we pay for the cleanup. The Rena cost taxpayers $46.9 million, and that was tiny compared to a major oil rig blowout. The Deepwater Horizon disaster has cost Americans $80 billion and rising.

Cleaning up Saturday’s oily people was easy, but the serious business of cleaning up our beaches will cost a lot more than a bar of Lush soap.


A huge thank you to Lush (Dunedin) for their support  

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Hands Across The Sand

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On Saturday, the 18th of May communities all over the world came together to draw a line in the sand to say no to fossil fuels and yes to clean energy. At 12noon people came together to hold hands for fifteen minutes and draw this symbolic line in the sand. In New Zealand alone, nine groups around the country, comprising over one thousand people, took to the beaches to say no to deep-sea oil drilling in Aotearoa.

On this freezing cold, wet day about sixty people in Dunedin stood together at St Clair beach. These community members voiced their concerns about Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Shell drilling in our coastal waters.

Over five hundred people lined the beach in the small community of Kaikoura. Their community has clearly united over this issue after their recent  dealings with the government and Anadarko. Oil Free Otago’s aim is to build a similar united front against drilling in Otago.

The people on our beaches on the 18th were a diverse group from all walks of life. The movement against deep-sea oil drilling in New Zealand is growing.

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http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/257700/hands-message-oil-companies

http://handsacrossthesand.org/

http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/8692829/Hundreds-protest-deep-sea-drilling

http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/8693861/Linking-hands-against-oil-exploration

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/8690901/Making-a-stand-on-the-sand

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/135468/beach-protests-held-against-deep-sea-drilling