Protests against drilling off South Island coast

People objecting to global energy giant OMV’s plans to drill in the Great South Basin walked around a mock drilling rig during a protest on Thursday.

About 50 people took part in the noon protest in Dunedin. 

The Austrian company's ship has started drilling deep into the Earth's crust in the Great South Basin.

An OMV spokesman confirmed it recently began the operation with its COSL Prospector at the Tawhaki-1 drill site.

The company has permission to drill 10 exploratory gas and oil wells, but its intention is only for one at this stage.

The drill is being lowered through 1400m of water until it reaches the seabed, and will then penetrate a further 1700m.



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