Shell puts New Zealand drilling on hold

Shell puts New Zealand drilling on hold

Shell New Zealand, a subsidiary of the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, has reportedly delayed plans to drill in the Great South Basin.

The Great South Basin joint venture parties are Shell New Zealand, OMV New Zealand Ltd and Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd.

Shell had said it would drill a well in the PEP5019 block in the summer of 2016. However, Radio New Zealand News has reported that there will be no drilling in the area next year.

“We won’t be drilling in 2016,” said chairman Rob Jager, Radion New Zealand News reports. “We are in discussion with New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals, we’re awaiting their decision on the revised work programme.”

The news comes only days after Shell said it would stop its drilling operations offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future, and only a day after it has been reported that Shell would be abandoning its plans to search for oil and gas in Bosnia.

Commenting on the New Zealand news,  Greenpeace New Zealand’s climate and energy campaigner Steve Abel said:
“National’s deep sea drilling plans are failing. The collapse in the oil price has brought the industry to its knees globally as dangerous and expensive drilling plans including deep sea are being canned.

“In the same week that Shell abandoned plans to drill in the Arctic, it has put its reckless bid to drill in New Zealand on ice. We think it is very unlikely that Shell will return,” said Abel.

“The Government has spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars opening up our oceans to some of the world’s biggest polluters, yet one by one, companies like ExxonMobil, Petrobras, Anadarko have pulled up the anchor chains and left, all without having found any oil. It now looks like Shell will follow too.

“A smarter Government would abandon its failing deep sea drilling plans and focus on building a cleaner and safer future for New Zealand.”

The Great South Basin is located to the south of the South Island of New Zealand. ExxonMobil relinquished their rights in the area in 2010.

Offshore Energy Today Staff