Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Good riddance

Another major oil company has given up exploring in New Zealand:

Chevron and Norwegian oil giant Equinor have opted to abandon their joint exploration efforts off the east coast of the North Island.

The two firms have applied to surrender three permits they were granted in December 2014. The acreage covers more than 25,000 square-kilometres of ocean – roughly a quarter of the country's active exploration portfolio – and stretches from south-east of Turakirae Head on the southern Wairarapa coast, north towards Hawke's Bay.

The permits were granted for 15-year terms. Chevron said the decision not to proceed with the next five-year stage of their work programmes was based on the firms' broader portfolio considerations and not "policy or regulatory concerns."

"Broader portfolio considerations" being polluter for "its more profitable to explore for oil elsewhere'. At the same time, this is exactly the result we want from the ban: the withdrawl of the oil industry from New Zealand, and the slow expiry or surrender of its permits.

The area covered by the three permits can be seen in the map below (modied from NZPAM's permit maps):

The one remaining permit on the East coast of the North Island is owned by OMV - the only foreign climate criminal still exploring for oil in New Zealand. They've just sent a massive oil rig to New Zealand to drill in their other permits (including off the South Island). If you'd like to tell them to fuck off, you can do so here.

(The next permits to watch are 38602, which expires at the end of July, and 38479, which expires in September. They're both small, but every bit helps, and their expiry will put more ocean off-limits to the oil industry).