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Stop the Matuku well

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We thought it was just one or two wells, it turns out to be up to 12 new wells...

OMV and AWE: Stop drilling new offshore oil field wells!

This September the Austrian company OMV began drilling the Manaia-2 well near the Maari oil field, 80 km off the Taranaki coast. OMV and Australian company AWE plan to drill 9-11 more wells over the next year using a mobile jack-up rig called Ensco 107 and the semi-submersible drilling rig 'Kan Tan IV' - nicknamed the 'Tin Can IV' because of the aging rig's history of problems, disrepair and questionable conditions, abroad and in NZ.

"OMV expects to drill between three and five new exploration wells and five development wells in the AOI over the period July 2013 to December 2014. Two of the exploration wells – Manaia-2 and Whio-1 will be near-field exploration (NFE) wells adjacent to the existing Maari and Manaia oil fields, and at least one well will be a ‘wildcat’ exploration well in a previously undrilled area approximately 45 kilometres (km) to the northwest of the Maari Field, in the Matuku permit, PEP 51906 (Figure 1). These wells will be drilled with a mobile semi-submersible drilling rig. The development wells will be drilled with a mobile jack-up drilling rig located over the Maari Field Well Head Platform (WHP)." -

From November 2013 to January 2014 Kan Tan will be hired out for AWE to drill 2 wells north of Tui.

No more Oil Spills!

Both OMV and AWE have a history of oil spills on the Taranaki Coast in recent years:

2010 October and November oil spills by OMV in the Maari field off Taranaki’s south-west coast washed up on Kapiti coast beaches

2007 an estimated 33 tonnes of oil was spilled in the Tui field off the western Taranaki coastline by AWE with 23 tonnes coming ashore along 14 km of coastline south of Okato

No more dumping waste at sea!

In all, the Austrian oil company OMV, lead owner of the Maari and Matuku permits, plans to drill 8-10 wells off Taranaki between now and the end of 2014.  Each exploratory well will produce 300-500 m3 of drill cuttings, to be discharged at sea. The five development wells will produce another 825 m3 of cuttings which will be offloaded for landfarming near Inglewood or treated onboard then discharged at sea. This sediment will contain drilling chemicals.

Save the whales

The Taranaki coastline is one of the roughest seas in the world. Very little is known about the wildlife there but we know it is migrating and/or feeding grounds for Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, Common Dolphins and NZ Fur Seals (breeding colony near New Plymouth). Southern Right, Gray's Beaked, Bryde’s, Killer whales, Sei, Minke, Sperm, Fin and Pilot whales and other dolphins and seals are also thought 'likely to be present' in these waters.

Seismic surveying, drilling, dumping of drillcuttings and oil spills all have a harmful effect on these often endangered marine mammals.

Protect fisherfolk

This sea supports a large fishing industry and many local fisherfolk including Maori who rely on kaimoana (seafood) from this region. During the 2007 oil spill locals say they were warned not to eat kaimoana from the area for up to three years.

No more drilling!

Taranaki is littered with oil and gas wells on and offshore. The region has already suffered at least eight oil spills and countless other accidents from the petroleum industry in the past ten years alone. Farms, aquifers and waterways have been polluted with the industry's waste.

Climate change has almost reached it's tipping point with increasing chaotic weather already occurring around the globe and islands going under as sea levels rise. We have to stop extracting fossil fuels now so that future generations have, well... a future.

We want a world based on sustainability and justice for all. We call on OMV, AWE and other associated companies to halt their planned drilling in Taranaki.

Climate Justice Now!


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Science tells us that we urgently need to get off fossil fuel consumption if catastrophic climate change is to be averted. History tells us that well-blowouts and oil spills are disastrous to fishery, tourism and marine life. Yet our government seems dead keen to make it as easy as possible for oil and gas companies to continue extracting the dirty stuff.

The newly proposed law change to prevent public say over offshore exploratory drilling under the EEZ Act is a case in point. Submit your opposition on this proposal to the Ministry for the Environment now. Tell our government that we want a future based on sustainability and justice, not one ruined by the fossil fuel industry, short-sightedness and greed.

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