The Press: Oil drilling deal off NZ ‘a bad joke’

John Hartevelt of The Press writes about the reactions to yesterday’s announcement that Brazilian oil company Petrobras was to be given an oil exploration drilling permit for New Zealand waters.

The 5 year permit, which covers the Raukumara Basic off the east coast of the North Island, has drawn the ire of environmentalists, who say that the recent Deepwater Horizon disaster shows how risky oil drilling can be.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“The potential mineral value in the area would not be known for years, but Petrobras, which is the world’s fourth-biggest energy company, is throwing an estimated $174 million at exploring the area.

“That figure includes $156.5m to drill one well – with the rest earmarked for detailed analysis of the area.

“Greenpeace last night labelled the agreement “a bad joke”.

“Climate campaigner Simon Boxer said it was “unbelievable” that the Government was pursuing deep-sea drilling.

“”The BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico shows that it is extremely difficult to control activities in the deep sea.””