28 Nov 2012

Todd Energy had poor environmental performance - report

9:10 pm on 28 November 2012

Todd Energy says it is operating to international best practise despite having being described by its regulator as demonstrating poor environmental performance.

A report by Taranaki Regional Council, obtained by Radio New Zealand, says Todd Energy demonstrated a poor level of environmental performance and compliance in one of its exploratory wells during 2009 and 2010.

The company either performed either poorly or needed to improve on two of its six consents and had failed to give the council monitoring records.

The poor performance label is grounds for an infringement notice or prosecution.

Todd Energy said the breaches were minor and maintains it doesn't need regulatory reform.

Fred McLay, the council's director of resource management, agrees that there were no adverse environmental effects.

However, he said the council is generally satisfied with Todd Energy, but there is still room for improvement in terms of reporting requirements and minor operational matters on some sites.

Todd Energy runs the country's biggest fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, operation. The process involves pumping fluids under pressure into rocks underground to expand cracks and get at trapped pockets of oil or gas.

On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment declared there is no need for a moratorium on fracking.