Support for oil giant

Alan Seay
Alan Seay
Dunedin businesses, and several city councillors, are throwing their arms wide open to oil exploration giant Anadarko.

A group of six Anadarko representatives, in the city this week for a series of "community engagement" meetings, will be greeted this morning with a two-page spread in the Otago Daily Times and an open letter from the Otago Chamber of Commerce welcoming the company to the city.

The letter is supported by 155 businesses and organisations, MP Michael Woodhouse and seven city councillors.

The company plans to explore for oil off Oamaru in late 2013, after a global shortage of rigs delayed its exploration drilling programme.

The Anadarko group met local iwi representatives and Mayor Dave Cull yesterday and are to meet the chamber and others early this week.

Company representatives have visited Dunedin regularly over the past few years.

Anadarko director of external communications Alan Seay said the company had no announcements to make and was in the city mostly on "community engagement" work this time.

Last night, Mr Cull said his fourth meeting with the company had been "excellent, informative and interesting" and he encouraged others to meet them.

"I took a few things away from it, but mostly that anything that happens to Dunedin in a positive sense would be quite some years away after exploration, even if they do have a massive find."

Supporters say the company could bring new industry, jobs and income to Dunedin if it uses the city as its base.

Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie wanted to let Anadarko know many businesses were following its progress and the red carpet was rolled out.

The city councillors listed in the advertisement are Crs Bill Acklin, Syd Brown, John Bezett, Colin Weatherall, Andrew Noone, Paul Hudson and Neil Collins.

Most did not return calls last night, but Cr Noone said it was important to remember Dunedin was not the only place the company could base itself.

He had not seen any information on the actual economic impact the programme could have on Dunedin, but a round-the-clock exploration operation would need resupplying and it would be sensible to make sure it was based in Dunedin.

The chamber has previously expressed concern over "negative comments" from the city council.

Cr Jinty MacTavish has expressed doubts about the economic benefits.

Last night, Cr MacTavish said she was "bemused" by the chamber's approach.

"I would like to see justification for why the chamber thinks its presence will bring such a positive economic impact with it.

"I'm not aware of any analysis on that and, if there has been some on our region, I haven't seen it. "

The only places that had benefited from finds were where there was heavy regulation of the industry and regional redistribution of royalties, she said.


Oil exploration benefits

I do wish the cynics would do some homework and research the Taranaki experience so they can come up with a few facts and not blind hysteria! Fact: During the drilling phase the only benefit for Dunedin would be to supply fresh food and possibly some equipment repair if that was beyond the company's own capabilities. They come, they drill, they cap off their drilling, and they depart. If a substantial oil or gas find did eventuate, the development would be at a later date - possibly years depending on what is found, and how much. If oil, then a surface platform would be required as a terminal for oil tankers to load and then transport the oil to a foreign refinery for refining. Until the Maui find was scoped, the end use for its gas could not be developed so let's not panic into stadium comparisons - please!

Oil industry jobs

What exactly are "real jobs" and what is your data on which you base the assertion that there will be approximately 50?

According to Venture Taranaki at December 2010 the O&G industry employed 3730 FTE' (full time equivalents) directly and 7,700 FTEs indirectly.

Oil exploration - action replay

As with the stadium, the same formula is on replay. Overstate the benefits. Minimise the risks.

Open letter to Anadarko

What is the Otago Chamber of Commerce and some councillors thinking of? They need to justify to the public, this open letter. How many real jobs will this bring to Dunedin? I have heard 50 at the most! 

So, what are the alternatives? Have these even been investigated by OCC or is it more of the same dinosaur, outmoded, lack of innovative-thinking that got us into the stadium fiasco. If these members were not following the mis-guided lead of our Government, and were a bit more forward-thinking, we might have many more jobs in a few years in some new clean technology that is sustainable and able to be marketed and sold overseas. This is already available to us, perhaps Mr Woodhouse and other advertisers are not be aware of this and so it is just more of the same, with the little people's future at risk. This is not progress! Rather very short-term thinking - an easy and expedient answer with no thought for future generations.

So for the sake of approximately 50 real jobs, we risk our wildlife and our beaches and our future? Oil drilling is a risky business especially at great depths off the Otago Coast (that's why is has not be done in the past - Oil companies are scratching the bottom of the barrel).

In port

Go down to the wharf.  Look at the polar exploration vessel moored there.  Ask how much they have spent in port the last 2 months on re-supply.

There's your economic impact from exploration.

The exploration phase will result in almost no economic impact for Dunedin. A production phase would result in slightly more, but the days of heavy indusry to support oil platforms are gone.

Far more benefit would come to NZ as a whole if there was a robust regime of distributing profits from royalties of oil production and export.  Unfortunately, there isn't. 

Oil exploration

If councillor MacTavish cannot see the economic benefit from an exploration company basing itself in Dunedin, I  suggest she is in the wrong job.
Every councillor should be supporting the chamber and other businesses welcoming Anadarko to Dunedin and Otago.

May as well

I'm fairly certain any right to drill is determined by central government. All the chamber is saying is, if you're going to drill, we have a great wee city here for your boys to enjoy their downtime and replenish their stocks.

If the exploration is successful, we have a port and the engineering capability to provide genuine support.

If they're going to come and do it, we may as well make the most of it. We don't need infighting tarnishing anyone's view of our city.

Previous form?

Is this the same Anadarko that had a 25% working interest in the Macondo Prospect (see Deepwater Horizon oil spill) and was also subject to a $25 billion lawsuit for defrauding the EPA of money to clean 2,772 polluted sites?

Tread lightly

I am with Cr MacTavish - I hope the Chamber of Commerce put the brakes on and read the fine print before signing anything. Its not all about the money but I can see the dollar signs in peoples eyes already.....sadly this can lead to blind eyes when it comes to issues of environmental quality and lack of redistribution of funds.

Tooth fairy economics

I am stunned by the blind faith that certain businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, the "old boy" councillors and a list MP are putting in this prospect. They clearly have forgotten Anadarko's comments last year that their infrastructure for NZ is based in Taranaki and that's about all they need. 

This is simply an exercise in bullying the council and ratepayers. I think we've had enough of that with the stadium debacle.

If there's economic benefits for Otago let's see the analysis and the evidence and compare that with the alternatives we can make for ourselves with a little bit of common sense. Many of us are sick and tired of the tooth fairy mentality ("give us a big handout") approach from local businesses, led by the Chamber of Commerce.

Let's do something innovative, sustainable, future looking and Dunedin-like. Opportunities abound if we get our heads out of the past ... For example, the global market for renewable energy technology is forecast to reach an annual value of $590–$800 billion by 2015. NZ has the capacity to build a new $6–8 billion export industry here at home, creating 47,000–65,000 new cleantech, high-value jobs (59,000–81,000 new jobs if you include indirect and upstream employment effects).We SHOULD be part of this.


Support for oil industry

Congratulations Otago Chamber of Commerce on your proactive approach to showing support for an oil industry  here in Dunedin.

Gas isn't oil

Making the comparasion between the benefits of oil and gas is not quite the same, neither are the economic or environmental costs from the clean up if something goes wrong. Cleaing up a major oil leak, or even a minor one can be costly as we have seen from the Rena and who paid for that? The Rena is nothing compared to an uncapped oil leak from a drilled pocket...does anybody remember the Gulf of Mexico? 

The North Sea gas leak had little or no effect on the enivironment either to the local sea life, bird life or the ozone layer. 

Most of the profit from any oil that would be taken from New Zealand would not stay in New Zealand. Most of the industry related machinery is not manufactured in New Zealand either. It may create a few jobs but hardly worth getting excited about.

Tourism is one of New Zealands biggest earners, not oil, if there is an environmental incident (which the oil companies will never be able to give a 100% guarantee that they can contain) then our clean green label is gone, our tourism will be gone, our marine life will be gone and oh look, the oil company will take all the oil and be gone too.

Disaster waiting to happen, mark my words. 


Oil industry benefits

Cr MacTavish is obviously unaware of the huge benefits that can result from a close association with the oil exploration industry. Perhaps a visit to New Plymouth would enlighten her and others. Ever since the Maui gasfield was discovered, Taranaki has benefited through a huge boost to heavy engineering in particular, port growth, employment growth, and countless benefits to other service industries. For many years, New Plymouth has had the largest conglomerate of heavy engineering companies in New Zealand with a lot of their growth attibutable to the oil and gas industry. It is this type of industry that can really boost employment and thus ratepayer numbers for Dunedin. The high tech industries such as IT so fondly pushed by Minister Joyce cannot compare in potential value to the local economy with  oil industry related  companies.

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