The Price of Oil | The Jackal

10 Oct 2011

The Price of Oil

Duncan Clarke
Representatives from some of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world met in Wellington on the 3rd of October, to promote new deep sea oil exploration and drilling in New Zealand's frontier basins.

New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals (formally Crown Minerals), a division of the MED, is using the international attention of the RWC to promote their new regime for pimping off our coastal resources to big oil and gas corporations.

TVNZ reported some of what was said:
"From the New Zealand point of view, they are very open. They're asking 'what do we have to do to get you here?'" Duncan Clarke said.

He dismissed concerns about the environmental dangers of deepwater drilling as "illogical", saying the same argument could be equally applied to shallow water drilling.

"The big issue is unlocking national wealth. It's a vote for poverty not to do it. Maybe New Zealand is rich enough to afford that, but I doubt it. In the developing world, no one is in the position to indulge that view.
It seems strange that Duncan Clarke was speaking on behalf of New Zealand, when he's a South African. I don't think the majority of New Zealander's are open to deep sea oil drilling, because the risks are too great and the safety response measures are lacking... a fact that has been sadly proven in recent days. There's also very little profit for New Zealand from oil and gas

Oil on Mt Maunganui beach 10-10-11
Duncan Clarke assisted in selecting attendees like the Acting and Associate Minister of Energy and Resources Hekia Parata to attend the event. He's the Chairman & CEO of Global Pacific & Partners, who often organize pro industry events around the world. Clark has written a number of books to promote the oil and gas industry, with many of his contentious ideas being openly rubbished.

Two days after that meeting in Wellington, the MV Rena grounded and has leaked 10 to 50 tonnes of heavy oil into the Bay of Plenty. With bad weather on the way, there is a potential for a much larger amount of oil to spill from the vessel, causing New Zealand's worst environmental disaster ever.

The toxic oil and many dead seabirds started washing up on beaches early this morning. However the officials decided to leave the oil for another couple of high tides before the authorized cleanup begins, meaning much of the oil will be washed back out to sea and further down the coast. The oil spill already goes from Mt Maunganui to Maketu, 37.3 km down the coast.
The official response to clean up after the spill has not been very effective, showing that what John Key told us back in April this year was absolute rubbish! Speaking about New Zealand's capabilities to deal with an oil spill the size of the Deepwater Horizon, John Key said:
"Any offshore drilling operation there's obviously environmental risks, but New Zealand has proven it can manage those risks," Key said.
Also in April, Hekia Parata mislead the House of Representatives by saying:
"The Marine Pollution Response Service consists of internationally respected experts who manage and train a team of around 400 local government and Maritime New Zealand responders," Parata said.
We've had to wait days while experts travel from other countries, which has delayed the cleanup and Rena's recovery operation. National's management of the situation has been atrocious, with little activity by those responsible.

There's obviously not 400 trained cleanup responders, with no official cleanup crews on Mt Maunganuis beaches yet, well over twelve hours after oil started washing up. It's shameful!