Source: Environmental Protection Authority
26 February 2019
Two applications from oil and gas operator Tamarind Taranaki Ltd, for consents in relation to activities in the Tui Area Oil Field off Taranaki have been granted, subject to conditions.
Tamarind Taranaki Ltd manages three oil reservoirs in Exclusive Economic Zone waters. It sought a marine consent to drill additional sidetrack development wells from existing ones, including the associated logistical and environmental monitoring activities, as well as a marine discharge consent for processing drainage from deck drains aboard a drill rig.
An independent Board of Inquiry was appointed by Environment Minister David Parker to consider the applications. In granting the consents the Board (Chair David Hill, Glenice Paine, and Dan McClary), set conditions to mitigate potential adverse effects of the drilling and discharge activities.
In its final decision the Board of Inquiry found that:
- There would be minor adverse environmental effects except for relatively short and transient events.
- The adversely affected benthic environment is expected to recover in a comparatively short time.
- No known rare or endangered species will be affected.
Siobhan Quayle, General Manager of the EPA’s Climate, Land and Oceans Group, says: “Pending any appeal, the EPA’s compliance team will take over the role of monitoring Tamarind’s activities to ensure it abides by the conditions of the consents.”