Ship on target

It is business as usual for Anadarko drill ship Noble Bob Douglas despite Sunday's protest, Anadarko New Zealand manager Alan Seay says.

Anadarko expected to begin drilling later this week, Mr Seay said, when contacted by the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

Oil Free Otago's protest at the drilling site on Sunday night had not affected the ship's plans and it arrived at its destination, about 60km off the coast, without incident.

''Everything is fine,'' Mr Seay said.

''They are going about their preparation work to spud the well pretty much as anticipated.''

There were no disputes during the protest.

''They read their statement to the master of the vessel and he received it,'' Mr Seay said.

Oil Free Otago spokeswoman Niamh O'Flynn said the protest ''achieved what we hoped to and now we are bringing the fight back to land''.

A protest at 10 South Island locations against deep-sea drilling would be staged on Saturday, with the Otago protest to be held at St Clair Beach, she said.

The protest yachts SV Tiama and Erewhon arrived back in Dunedin about 8am yesterday.

The protest at sea had shown Anadarko that protesters had ''the resources and energy ... to make it difficult for them to perform commercial drilling'', Ms Flynn said.


At a glance

• Drilling at the test site will take between 30-35 days.

• Anadarko drill ship Noble Bob Douglas costs $1 million a day to operate.

• The ship is operating in 1100m of water.

• The test well will be drilled to 1700m below the seabed for a total height of 2800m.

• If hydrocarbons are discovered an ''appraisal well'', which might be the first of many, will be drilled.

• It might take 3 to 5 years from ''discovery to development'' and hydrocarbon extraction.


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