All eyes will be turning to deep-water oil exploration plans
in the frontier Great South Basin and Canterbury Basin after
Brazilian oil giant Petrobras yesterday shelved plans for up
to $300 million worth of North Island exploration. There was
a high-profile campaign by East Cape iwi Te Whanau a Apanui,
Greenpeace and other groups last year against Petrobras'
exploration of the Raukumara Basin.
While it ran a shipborne seismic survey of the area it was
dogged by protest vessels, and saw off an unsuccessful High
Court challenge to its exploration.
Petrobras' departure will dent the Government's plans to
promote oil and gas exploration, with almost 30 exploration
wells having been expected during the next five years, but
Greenpeace said the Petrobras decision was a ''victory for
Kiwis opposed to risky deep-sea drilling'', BusinessDay
Oil giants Shell and Anadarko have separate interests in
respectively drilling the Great South Basin and Canterbury
Basin, the latter off the coast from Oamaru, some time during
the next 12 to 24 months.
While neither shipborne seismic surveys or the appearance of
a drill rig off Oamaru in 2006 attracted much environmental
attention, both prospective areas lie at a depth of 1000m or
more, in areas prone to wild weather.