Oil explorers accused of 'gaming' system
Wed, 11 Jul 2012 2:53p.m.
The Environmental Defence Society accuses TAG Oil and Apache Corp of "effectively gaming the system to make it easier for them to get consent for exploration drilling" in the Gisborne and Hawke's Bay regions.
EDS says Gisborne District Council gave no public notification of applications for resource consents issued to Canada's TAG and 50/50 Texan partner Apache for site establishment works for a drilling platform on a property in Te Karaka.
"The consented activities are clearly stage one of a petroleum exploration activity. The site will be of no value to the applicants if they do not gain consent for drilling activities," said EDS chairman Gary Taylor, who criticised the council for allowing the oil companies to take a "piecemeal" approach to their plans.
"It is best practice for all required consents for an activity to be identified from the outset, applied for contemporaneously and considered together.
"If the applicants are allowed to apply for resource consents incrementally this can mean that later consents are granted based on the baseline created by the earlier consent."
Mr Taylor said EDS was not opposed to oil exploration but wanted large international companies to play "fair".
The practice of would-be oil and gas explorers making piecemeal resource consent applications was also occurring in other parts of the country.
The TAG/Apache plans have attracted public opposition because they have acknowledged some exploration may be suited to hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", techniques, which involve pumping liquids into "tight" oil and gas seams to fracture rock formations and release hydrocarbons.
The practice is becoming controversial globally. It can pollute groundwater in some instances and causes minor seismic activity, stoking fears the practice could trigger larger earthquakes.
Apache pledged earlier this year not to pursue fracking until after a report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment into the technology is published later this year.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
Airbus and Boeing have won pledges for big purchases of thei...
ANZ says it is surprised by claims its fees are unfair and w...
The national carrier was invited to the Paris Air Show - the...
There's good news for wine enthusiasts, with the 2013 harves...
The 2013 Export Barometer survey reveals New Zealand exporte...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.