PEPANZ slams Greenpeace ‘stupidity’

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The Amazon Warrior

The Amazon Warrior

THE New Zealand oil and gas industry has slammed Greenpeace for repeatedly obstructing the world’s biggest seismic vessel, the 125m Amazon Warrior, and demanded that activists cease putting themselves and other people in danger.
This followed protest in which an activist leapt into the sea in front of the vessel and the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) released a statement condemning the action as a “media stunt” and a “stupid” activity.
“While we absolutely respect the right of Greenpeace to protest, this sort of action is just stupid,” PEPANZ’s Chief Executive Cameron Madgwick said.
Greenpeace New Zealand chief executive Russel Norman and several other activists jumped into the water off the Wairarapa coast to intercept the vessel Amazon during operations.
Norman has been charged by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) of New Zealand under the Crown Minerals Act, whereby it is an offense to interfere with or come closer than 500 meters of an offshore ship involved in oil exploration.
The survey, conducted by Schlumberger on behalf of OMV and Chevron, began in November and is scheduled to be completed next month.
The seismic survey has been in activists’ crosshairs for months and previously saw protesters cutting off the Amazon Warrior, albeit outside of the 500m safety zone.
In January two Greenpeace inflatables approached the Amazon Warrior, which was radioed by the activist group to deliver a letter of protest and to demand that Statoil and Chevron cease seismic acquisition in the area.
On that occasion the Amazon Warrior was accompanied by two support vessels, the Ocean Pioneer, a New Zealand fishing vessel frequently used as support by the oil industry and the Marina G, a Panamanian supply vessel.
Greenpeace claims that the seismic sonar deployed by the vessel threatens sea life, an allegation that has been strongly refuted by the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, which asserts that the sounds are comparable to naturally occurring ocean sounds and marine life and shipping.
PEPANZ, the association which promotes petroleum production and exploration in New Zealand, said there was no evidence from numerous research projects in New Zealand supporting the views that sounds from exploration had harmed marine species or ecological life.

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