OMV drilling off Otago comes up empty handed

The one-off gas exploration well was expected to cost around $80 million. PHOTO: ODT FILES
The one-off gas exploration well was expected to cost around $80 million. PHOTO: ODT FILES
International oil giant OMV has completed drilling off the Otago coast without discovering commercial quantities of oil or gas.

OMV’s Senior Vice President, Australasia, Gabriel Selischi said it had completed the drilling of the Tawhaki-1 exploration well in the Great South Basin.

"The Tawhaki-1 exploration well was safely completed this week and preliminary indications are that there has not been a commercial-scale discovery.

"OMV will provide a further update on drilling results once analysis is complete."

The drilling team was currently preparing to plug and abandon the well.

The team aboard the COSL Prospector drill ship had this summer been drilling an $80million exploratory well at the Tawhaki-1 site, 146km southeast of Balclutha.

The drilling hit a snag late last month when it accidentally cut its own drill pipe when a blowout preventer — a device used to seal gas or oil wells and prevent hydrocarbons escaping — was mistakenly activated.

A source told the Otago Daily Times the mistake would have cost the company millions.

Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson said today's news would be welcomed by people across the country who have grown increasingly concerned about OMV’s New Zealand drilling programme.

"This is fantastic news for the climate and for the precious wildlife that calls the Great South Basin home.

"The communities along the Otago Coast and the threatened and endangered sea creatures that live there are now safe from further oil development."

Ms Larsson said the news meant the future of deep sea oil exploration in New Zealand was in doubt.

"As the world experiences the climate crisis intensifying with more devastating fires, floods and droughts, it’s been staggering to see OMV continue to search for more fossil fuels to burn.

"Today is a clear sign that this company’s time here is up.

"Over the last decade, hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders have opposed deep sea oil drilling. In Otago, there has been sustained opposition to OMV’s Great South Basin drill programme from communities and local government alike.

"The increasingly unwelcome reception oil and gas companies are encountering here is testament to the power of all the people up and down the country who are demanding a better future for themselves, their children, and the natural world."



View all

What a shame - Dunedin could do with the opportunities a discovery would provide. I hope they have the option of drilling additional wells and with success.

Time to abandon the Cargo Cult.

Totally agree

Could Greenpeace and Ms Larsson please provide the statistal data and hard evidence to back up the almost outrageous claims made here? The sustained opposition to the Great South Basin claim is infact the noisey complaints a vociferous few and hundreds os thousands is far fetched in the extreme. How about some rational balance to this discussion?

Here you go Ray..I do hope something written by climate scientists will do.

I have difficulty with people who hide behind a label and fire cheap shots and don't read the comments. I asked for data for the young lady's claims. but for the record I would like the evidence to support the UN claims there would be 50 million climate change refugees by 2015 and Al Gore's claims there would be no Arctic ice cap also by 2015. Did they rely upon the same sources you so flippantly and anonymously quote? Ms Larsson needs to deal in facts, not emotive and outrageous exaggerations. You need and I need a coffee and unlike me I can't contact you. Happy to scrap any time you like.

I'm so sorry my attempts to supply you with what you asked for attracted your ire and chagrin. I'm full of admiration for your decision to use your full name in these posts but that in itself does not give your opinions any more credence than my 'cheap shots' as you put them. I therefore decline your kind offer of coffee as I believe that you would make ad hominem attacks should you find yourself losing an argument with me. However, I look forward to our sparring matches here.

How tiresome it is and how endlessly arrogant for Greenpeace and its acolytes to claim to speak for “the people of Otago”. They actually speak mostly for their own extreme left-wing ideological agenda to engineer humanity’s great leap backwards.

"Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson said today's news would be welcomed by people across the country who have grown increasingly concerned about OMV’s New Zealand drilling programme".

Drill baby drill!.

Oh dear, how sad. Hurry along OMV out of our waters.

Is a news article, not the science. Nightimejohn do you have the source reference to be more factual. Easy to link news articles... most are opinion with traces of fact.

View all







Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter