On December 11th, 2012 Texan oil giant Anadarko was granted exclusive right to explore for petroleum in the Pegasus Basin, which lies southeast of Wellington’s coast. The permits cover 4272 square kilometres and last for 5 years.
Anadarko currently plans to begin test drilling during the coming summer (2013-14). Test drilling can be one of the most dangerous stages of oil extraction. It was a test drill that caused the infamous Gulf of Mexico spill two years ago.
Oil Free Wellington is a group of Wellingtonians who have come together to organise to prevent both exploration and full scale drilling from occurring.
We are concerned that our government would risk our coast and livelihoods for an activity which has relatively little economic benefits. We are concerned with the lack of notification and consultation. We are are also deeply concerned at the global implications this will have on intensifying climate change. At such a critical point in history we need to be investing in positive alternatives, not furthering our reliance on dirty energy.
Over this coming year we’ll be making sure that deep sea oil drilling becomes a public issue in Wellington, and building powerful opposition in our communities, before the first rigs can drill off our coast.
We hope that you’ll join with us over the coming months in successfully farewelling Anadarko from our shores!