Monday, February 22, 2021

The end of offshore exploration?

The Otago Daily Times reports that following Beech Energy's surrender of its South Island exploration permits, the end of offshore oil exploration in the South Island may be on the horizon:

The end of offshore exploration for gas and oil in the South Island is on the horizon.

A drill or drop deadline for the last active exploration permit in the South expires in March 2022.

New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) chief executive Andrew Jefferies is not optimistic about the future of the Toroa permit in the Great South Basin, which the company is likely to surrender.

"I very much doubt that the folks of Southland will see a rig over the horizon in the current regulatory settings," Mr Jefferies said.

Good. Because its been clear for a decade that if we are to survive, the oil industry has to die. Killing development before it starts is the best way of doing this. It kills the emissions pipeline while ensuring that resources aren't waste don stranded assets.

But its not enough to end exploration of the South Island - there are also still permits off Taranaki. Some of those have "drill or drop" provisions in the next few years, and hopefully the government will actually enforce them, rather than see this toxic, destructive industry continue.