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5/9/2018 — Oil and Gas
OMV fronts EPA hearing on drilling

Two New Zealand websites have quoted the international oil company OMV as saying its purchase of Shell’s offshore assets in New Zealand will help the enlarged group maintain a sufficient exploration and development programme to keep activities viable.

The news reporting group BusinessDesk, produced an article used by the Sharechat website as quoting OMV’s vice president for Australasia, Gabriel Selischi as saying hydrocarbons are an important part of NZ’s energy mix and that the firm wants to have a sustainable business here.

But the small level of exploration activity was seen as a challenge, with the high cost of bringing drilling rigs to the country as being a sporadic exercise.

“That’s part of our idea with Shell, in creating this larger operator in order to have enough scope of work to be able to have a comprehensive programme,” he told an Environmental Protection Authority hearing in New Plymouth yesterday.

“We are here in order to establish a sustainable business and be fully integrated into the economic environment of New Zealand,” he said. To ensure sustainability and production “and to give New Zealand the energy that the country needs, we will need to perform exploration.”

NewsDesk said OMV has operated in New Zealand for almost 20 years. It operates the Maari oil field and has stakes in the Maui and Pohokura gas fields. Earlier this year OMV agreed to buy Shell’s offshore interests in New Zealand, including operatorship of those two gas-condensate fields, for $US578 million.

Selischi was giving evidence in support of a marine discharge consent the firm is seeking for the rainwater run-off from any rigs the firm and its partners use for the drilling of up to nine exploration wells and three appraisal wells off the Taranaki coast during the next seven years.

NewsDesk said the hearing is to approve the immeasurably small trace quantities of harmful material that may wash from the decks of a drilling rig after any accidental spill – of things such as lubricants or chemicals - has been cleaned up.

The much larger discharges from drilling will be subject to separate consents that the EPA will determine without public input.

Newsdesk said the need for the EPA process for deck drainage is disputed by the industry, which says this type of consent was not intended for exploration rigs, but for production platforms and vessels that could be operating at fixed sites for decades.

Sources: sharechat.co.nz; businessdesk.co.nz

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