• NZ passes ban on offshore oil exploration
NZ passes ban on offshore oil exploration
09 Nov, 2018, 1 Comment

Summary: New Zealand's coalition government has voted through a bill honouring a pledge made this year to halt the issuing of new oil exploration permits to companies.....

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New Zealand's government has passed a polarising law ending future offshore oil and gas exploration around the country.


Its Labour-led coalition government on Wednesday night voted through a bill honouring a pledge made this year to halt the issuing of new exploration permits to companies.


Environmentalists called the decision historic, but industry and the opposition say it threatens thousands of much-needed regional jobs.


"This law means that around four million square kilometres of the earth's surface is now off limits to oil and gas companies, and any deposits under our deep seas will stay in the ground where they belong," Greenpeace campaigner Kate Simcock said.


Climate Change Minister James Shaw told parliament the bill was the start of a transition away from oil, and sent a signal to business to change.


But New Zealand's centre-right opposition National Party has vowed to reverse the ban if it takes power back, saying the decision was rushed and ignored advice from industry and officials.


Its leader, Simon Bridges, earlier described the policy as a "wrecking ball" through the economy of areas that depended upon the industry.



"We could be the Norway of the Pacific, but we have a government that's intent on turning us into the Nauru of the Pacific," former energy minister Judith Collins said in April.


The law does not, however, stop existing exploration permits, some of which extend out to 2030 and could lead to another 40 years of drilling if successful.


There are 31 oil and gas exploration permits currently active in New Zealand, 22 of which are offshore, covering an area of about 100,000 square kilometres.


"This bill will not end oil and gas exploration overnight, nor will it halt existing production," Energy Minister Megan Woods said.


Oil and gas fields around New Zealand, according to the country's oil lobby, contribute about $NZ2.5 billion ($A2.3 billion) to the economy and generate about 11,000 jobs.


Earlier advice from the government's own Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment warned the ban could actually increase global emissions, with fears local gas would be replaced by dirtier coal from China to meet power demand - although Ms Woods disagreed, saying global electricity markets were changing.


New Zealand has a long history with oil. One of the first exploration wells dug in the Commonwealth was drilled off the North Island in 1865.


 

AAP, 8/11/2018, www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/nz-passes-ban-on-offshore-oil-exploration/news-story/2fc0c840e6060e1a4d6d32cfe4894f5f

Comments.
  • MyPassion

    Geoff Rogers
    14 Nov, 2018

    Incredible stupidity. If people cannot plan to get new permits issued when they make discoveries under existing permits, the viability of discoveries under the existing permits is diminished. This will impact immediately.

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