Petrobras sent packing | The Jackal

4 Dec 2012

Petrobras sent packing

Today, One News reported:

Petrobras has decided not to proceed with permits it holds for deepwater prospecting off the North Island's east coast.

The Brazilian company was awarded a permit in 2010 to explore 12,000 square kilometres in the Raukumara Basin for gas and oil.

Asked today if he was disappointed Petrobras was not proceeding, Finance Minister Bill English said other companies were interested and committed to oil and gas exploration.

"The Government has invested a bit of time and money in making sure it's attractive, exploration is attractive, the companies are always making their decision in the context of now some quite big shifts in world energy markets with the extensive shale gas finds in the US for instance," English said.

When Bill English says the government tried to make exploration look attractive, what he actually means is that National has wasted thousands if not millions of taxpayer dollars in trying to promote oil and gas exploration in an area that was never going to accept it.

There was no proper consultation process, meaning that the level of resentment felt by Iwi on the East Coast of the North Island was palpable.

It appears that Petrobras has recognized that it has no mandate to drill for oil in the area, and would have been further obstructed from undertaking their destructive enterprise by concerned citizens. It's in my opinion a reasonable assessment of the situation, and Petrobras has been made to withdraw through a concerted effort by peaceful activists.

It's likely that other oil and gas companies will also have considered these aspects and it's doubtful that they're lining up to exploit the East Coast for its mineral wealth. So a victory for the environment, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Greenpeace... Excellent!