19 Apr 2015

Call to reject more Maui gas field activity

6:09 pm on 19 April 2015

A Taranaki environmental watchdog says a key report on a proposed expansion of the Maui gas field is inadequate and any bid for fresh drilling should be rejected.

The report was commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency before hearings to decide if Shell Todd Oil can continue extracting gas from the field off the Taranaki coast for another 35 years.

It also wants to drill new wells.

The report found the impact on the marine environment would be negligible but concedes the oil company did not provide enough information for a full assessment.

Catherine Cheung of Climate Justice Taranaki said Shell Oil should be allowed time to close the gas field, which always had a limited life, but any bid to significantly expand its operations should be turned down.

She said earlier reports had found oil drilling activity did affect the local marine wildlife.

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