Seismic survey ship visits Dunedin for crew change

The seismic exploration vessel MV Aquila Explorer made a brief stop in Dunedin this week.

The vessel, which Shell New Zealand is using in its exploration of the Great South Basin, berthed in the upper harbour on Monday to change crews.

Shell New Zealand spokeswoman Jacqueline Baker said the crew of about 50 was rotated yesterday and the ship left about 10.40am. It was the second crew change in Dunedin for the vessel, following one in February.

The crew changes brought thousands of dollars into Dunedin's economy as crew members bought goods and services while in the city, she said.

The vessel was producing a two-dimensional seismic survey of the formations beneath the sea floor in the 21,200sq km area that Shell New Zealand was exploring, 150km offshore from Dunedin, she said.

The survey was expected to finish in the coming weeks.

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