New Zealand, the New Playground for Texas and Canadian Oil Companies

The '100 percent Pure' image of New Zealand is going to be lost due to the re-elected New Zealand Government that is selling out to multi-billion dollar oil Corporations (Apache, Texas and Tag Oil, Canada) who are spending millions in their efforts to find oil and gas in New Zealand…why? For no more than a 5 percent royalty and taxes to fund the Government's coffers, that’s why.

The New Zealand national government seems to have missed the fact that burning fossil fuels have a direct impact on the world's climate. And, the New Zealand citizens sit quietly while the democratically-elected government allows their country to be plundered by international companies.

The oil companies have found new and more destructive ways to extract the earth's blood with hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which involves pumping a water-based fluid into a well under pressure, making cracks in the rock that could be 3000 meters underground, to release the gases or oil. However, the fluids used are a cocktail of chemicals, including benzene, lead, acrylamide, and formaldehyde. There have been lists of up to 980 different chemicals used in fracking, yet our national newspapers are reporting that fracking involves pumping fluid containing "medium-grain sand or ceramic pellets" under high pressure, 2-3 km underground in a country with several unstable fault lines.

France, South Africa, New South Wales, New Jersey, Quebec, New York City and Christchurch (New Zealand) have banned this practice.

Tag Oil has been extracting oil from the Taranaki (West coast of the North Island) since 1991, yet has only received Resource Consent from the Taranaki Regional Council in 2006. There will be nine wells in Taranaki fracked this year.

The NZ Government has granted permits for the oil companies to explore 700,000 hectares in Hawkes Bay, Poverty Bay and the East Coast (Nth Island) over the next four years. With seismic surveying and drilling already completed in December 2011, the next phase will commence in March 2012. They have intentions to seek further permits for North-land and the far South.

There are several reasons why NZ should not be allowing oil and gas extraction:
* The current oil fields in Taranaki have been shown to have contaminated ground water caused by fracking.
* The USA environmental Protection Agency has confirmed fracking fluids have contaminated ground water in Wyoming.
* New Zealand has several active and unstable fault lines throughout the two Islands. Drilling many wells in several areas on a small island and cracking the lithosphere could cause unnecessary movement, resulting in earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
* The Royalties and taxes the NZ Government will receive are not worth the risk to NZ's water and the damage drilling will cause to the environment in one of the last relatively unpolluted countries left on the planet.
* The claim from the oil companies that their operations will create many employment opportunities for local people are misleading the general public and Maori tribal leaders--giving them images of "The Beverly Hillbillies," with the wealth from the oil/gas extraction. The facts are that the oil companies will own the oil/gas when they extract it, then take it away and sell it to the highest bidder, leaving a legacy of destruction and contamination for future generations to deal with.
* The NZ Government claims we are not able to utilize alternative energies yet because they are not available on a commercial scale. However, most educated people are well aware of the many alternative energy technologies available to NZ and the world…if only they were allowed to be more mainstream instead of remain hindered by the petroleum industry.

"Gas-lands", a 2010 American documentary film written and directed by Josh Fox, is a recommended watch for those who want to know more about the oil and gas industry's operations in the USA.

It is insane.

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Sat, 02/25/2012 - 12:12am | Caroline I'm sorry to hear (Score: 1)
Sat, 02/25/2012 - 8:13am | Thanks Caroline. I have (Score: 1)
Thu, 03/01/2012 - 12:09am | I have worked for two major (Score: 1)