Great South Basin

Letter to Shell: Now Stay Away From The Great South Basin

OFO ready response practice run 12 January 2014

Dear Shell NZ,
Yesterday Shell pulled out of drilling in the Arctic. This is such good news for millions of people worldwide. We have one planet and the race is on to save it. The people are winning.
We are writing to demand that you now cease any further plans to drill in the Great South Basin, off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
Your industry is a rogue industry without the social licence to continue. Already discovered oil and gas must remain unburned for global warming to keep below an un-survivable tipping point. New frontier exploration must cease.
Like the Arctic, the deep ocean of the Great South Basin is frontier territory. Any hydrocarbon discoveries in this region are unburnable if we are to retain a liveable planet. You have no right to continue; your extreme destructive behaviour is putting us all at risk.
Remember the kayaktavists of Seattle? Be prepared for similar opposition in New Zealand. All further efforts to drill here will be strongly opposed.
Shell: pull out of the Great South Basin now, or expect resistance. The people are building a better, fairer world and we are winning. Get out of the way.
Yours sincerely
OIL FREE OTAGO

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.

Beach Cleaners Protest Shell

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Oil Free Otago staged a ‘beach cleaner’ protest outside Community House on Thursday, where Shell Oil were meeting with environmental groups about their plans for drilling off our coasts in the Great South Basin.

This meeting was part of Shell’s campaign to legitimise their claim that “Environmental concerns are very close to our heart.” To this, we say “Fui”, something Dave’s nana used to say to mean “bullshit”. Shell have a terrible safety and environmental track record. For example, Shell spilled nearly 14,000 tonnes of crude oil into the creeks of the Niger Delta in 2011, they have also recently had to cancel their plans to drill for oil in the Arctic this year.

Our first objective for the day was to engage with members of the public to make them aware of the deep-sea oil risk that is being posed to our coasts. We had an overwhelmingly positive response, with many members of the public joining us in protest for various periods of time.

It was our goal to ensure that Shell is aware that they, and any other oil companies, are unwelcome to drill off the coasts of Otago. We achieved this by, very ‘vocally’, escorting’ the Shell representatives to their car (which we noted was parked in the Countdown carpark, rather than in legal pay-and -display parking 😉  ). They were certainly in a hurry to leave.

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Derek Onley, who attended the meeting on behalf of  the  Ornithological Society, said,

“There was little new information.Shell have back-pedaled on their ’empty-ocean’ stance, and are now accepting that yes, the ocean is full of creatures. In fact, they now agree that their drill site is in the middle of a whale migration zone. They mentioned that if there was an oil blow out, it would take relief response at least 14 days to arrive here from Singapore.”

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Shell said that they have still not decided whether or not they will go ahead and drill.

Oil Free Otago will continue to oppose Shell and Anadarko at every step of the way.

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/267143/oil-free-otago-protests-outside-meeting

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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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What’s in the Pipelines

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This summer Texan oil giant, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, intends to begin their test drilling program in the Canterbury Basin, NZ. The Caravel prospect is located off the coast of Moeraki, and the Carrick prospect is directly off the Otago Peninsula. The global oil giants Shell and OMV are also currently exploring the Great South Basin for new oil and gas reserves (exploration permit PEP 50119) with the intent to extract these resources in the near future, also just off the coast of Dunedin.

– Anadarko had a 25% share in the project that caused the Deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill, Gulf of Mexico in 2010, spilling over 600,000 tonnes of oil into the sea.
– Shell spilled nearly 14,000 tonnes of crude oil into the creeks of the Niger Delta in 2011.

ImageDeep-sea oil-drilling is of major concern in the Otago region of New Zealand because of the alarming environmental and economic risks that it poses to our people, our climate, and our land and sea. There are currently no adequate protection measures in place to protect our environment from a deep sea oil disaster. Aotearoa stands to gain just 5% of the profits from the drilling, yet we will bear 100% of the risk involved. History tells us that it is only a matter of time before we pay the price. Global oil giants are not welcome to drill in our coastal waters.

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