Gulf of Mexico

Eye-Witness Account of The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Disaster

John Wathen is an award winning photo journalist who recently toured Aotearoa recounting his experience both on the ground and in the air documenting the catastrophic 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

John flew out over the gulf in a light plane and captured the event as it was unfolding resulting in some amazing footage and images of the worst environmental disaster in America’s history.

His presentation contains some blunt warnings and important lessons for New Zealand as we consider the threat of deep sea oil drilling in our waters in the near future.

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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