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Statoil leaves Northland, Greenpeace announce summer of Climate Action

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 pm, October 15th, 2016 - 14 comments
Categories: climate change, energy, Environment - Tags: , ,

The Greenpeace press release,

Greenpeace promises summer of action as oil giant Statoil signals retreat

Friday, October 14: In the wake of Norwegian oil giant Statoil’s sudden exit from Northland, Greenpeace NZ is calling for a summer of action to drive Statoil and other oil companies out of the country for good.

This morning, Statoil pulled the plug on its operations in the Reinga Basin, claiming the probability of finding oil was too low to justify a continued search.

But the move follows years of intense public pressure by the Northland community, which has an 87% opposition to oil activities, and has seen thousands of people taking part in numerous hikoi and mass public demonstrations, often culminating outside the annual Government-supported petroleum conference in Auckland.

The powerful East Cape iwi, Te Whānau-āApanui, have also actively supported the Northern Iwi in their fight against oil.

Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner, Kate Simcock, says the announcement is a win for people power and for the Northland community.

“Statoil says local opposition didn’t contribute to the decision to ditch West Coast plans, but that’s hard to believe,” she says.

“We know that Statoil were surprised and embarrassed by the huge public scrutiny they faced in Northland, especially after our Government had promised them it would be a walk in the park.

“But now the Government has been left with egg on its face, and we’re going to make sure that when Statoil finally gives up and leaves New Zealand for good, it will be thanks to local opposition.

“The industry should expect community resistance at every turn, and the Government should prepare for a battering of its climate-denialist oil agenda. This will all culminate at the next oil conference in Taranaki in March.”

Actress Lucy Lawless made international headlines in 2012 when she and six Greenpeace activists scaled the derrick of Shell oil drillship, the Noble Discoverer, in Port Taranaki, and camped up there for more than 70 hours.

She will be part of Greenpeace’s summer of action.

“It’s incomprehensible to me that in 2016, when we’re all well aware of the climate emergency we’re facing, our Government is still selling off our seas and land for climate-destroying drilling and fracking,” she says.

“If our Government won’t do the right thing, we have to take matters into our own hands. It’s time for New Zealanders to join together to make sure that this summer spells the end of the oil search in our homeland.”

And it’s looking like it will be a busy summer.

This weekend marks the entrance of yet another oil research vessel, the PGS Apollo, into Port Taranaki. The boat will be doing a re-supply before heading out to search for oil north of Farewell Spit for at least a month.

And from November, the world’s biggest oil researcher, Schlumberger, will be seismic testing in the Pegasus Basin, most probably on behalf of companies including Statoil and Chevron.

Greenpeace’s Simcock says Greenpeace will be escalating the fight against oil through until the annual oil conference in March.

The conference, usually held in Auckland, has endured years of protests and marches involving thousands upon thousands of people. It has now been moved to Taranaki for 2017.

Simcock says the change in location won’t help.

“The oil industry can run, but it can’t hide. Last year hundreds of kiwis were prepared to block the doors of the conference and put their bodies on the line, and next year we’re predicting thousands will turn out to put the final nail in the coffin.

“An entire summer of community civil disobedience is going to lead up to this conference and we’re calling for everyone to join us. This is the beginning of the end for the oil industry.”

Additional coverage at the Herald.

14 comments on “Statoil leaves Northland, Greenpeace announce summer of Climate Action ”

  1. infused 1

    You can expect the Taranaki people to tell Greenpeace to go fuck themselves.

    • weka 1.1

      yeah because all the people in Taranaki have exactly the same opinion 🙄

      • Naki man 1.1.1

        Yes most of us do have the same opinion.
        Lucy Clueless is not welcome

        • Roy 1.1.1.1

          I’d suggest people like you two might try that self-action. You’ve certainly been happy to ‘fuck’ the rest of us while you enrich yourselves: farming, oil. No sympathy for your losses when the oil rig is shut down.

      • infused 1.1.2

        Go there some time and ask how much the place is pumping. For years now, thanks to oil.

        • weka 1.1.2.1

          Values that you express e.g. money is more important than life, are exactly why direct action is needed. In your case, it’s based in wilful ignorance, not only has the jobs vs environment tropes been well and truly smashed in recent decades, but also because you are directly exposed to evidence of the need for change and you still think that money is more important.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.1

            +1

            It’s amazing how the RWNJs always put money and power before life and limb.

  2. Manuka AOR 2

    That is very good news for the Far North!
    Meanwhile, vast coastal areas around Aotearoa are still being set aside for “exploration”: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/84445709/large-area-off-canterbury-coast-proposed-for-oil-exploration

  3. mauī 3

    This looks like the twilight industry circling the wagons. I really doubt they will find any new reserves off our coast and that looks like how its playing out. Even if they did, a huge amount of capital is required while the oil companies are currently slashing capital expenditures. The energy returned on energy invested is dubious too.

  4. What about the onshore block in Western Southland?
    Frack on, bro!

  5. Tamati Tautuhi 5

    Unfortunately it appears that fracking destroys the water reservoirs and sub terranean aquifiers and off shore drilling in NZ is a no brainer, look what happened with the Rena disaster off the BOP coastline and that was just a pissy little ship carrying its own fuel.

    However I guess the major oil companies are looking for new horizons when the Middle East blows up into a nuclear holucaust which doesn’t seem far away?

  6. Skinny 6

    St at oil are not very likely to find much down here, they know that. They also use exploring down here as a propaganda tool, look Kiwi’s trust us.

    Anyway we will give Statoil and their multi national corporation promoter National a serve this election year summer.

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