Good news for the West Coast

October 25th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Australian miner Bathurst Resources has hopes of gaining access to the Escarpment coal site by Christmas after receiving final Environment Court approval for the controversial project on West Coast conservation land.

The court’s final approval was granted yesterday. It had said on August 8 that it intended to grant consent to the Escarpment mine on the Denniston Plateau, near Westport. However, the approval may be appealed. An appeal must be lodged within 15 days. …

The Government welcomed the court’s decision, labelling it exactly the type of investment the country needed to create jobs and higher incomes.

The Green Party decried the sacrificing of the Denniston Plateau and its unique landscape and threatened species for an open cast coal mine.

Have you seen photos of the Plateau? It’s pretty ugly to be blunt.

The company was still confident of producing about 180,000 tonnes of coal from Escarpment by the end of June next year, Bohannan said. It would be taken by rail to Lyttelton and shipped from there, and also shipped from Westport to Taranaki for export.

Bohannan said the coal would end up in steel mills and other production facilities in Japan and China mainly. Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges welcomed the decision.

“The Escarpment Mine and associated works are expected to create 225 direct jobs and approximately $85 million each year will go to employees, suppliers, contractors and transport providers,” Bridges said.

“This is great news for the West Coast. The mine will inject almost $1 billion into the New Zealand economy over six years, and provide $30 million each year in royalties and taxes,” Joyce said.

West Coasters need jobs. This will provide them.

On a sort of related issue Stuff reports:

Raglan residents are fuming after learning that a United States oil company is a month away from drilling off their coastline the deepest exploratory well in New Zealand’s history.

Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corporation plans to begin drilling the well in 1500 metres of water before December.

Anadarko was held liable, with BP by a US judge for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010. The company paid BP US$4 billion to settle claims.

Raglan Fishing Charters’ Brian Hooker is worried about the environmental impact on marine life and is threatening to lead a fleet of boats to picket the Anadarko vessel the Noble Bob Douglas when it arrives at the end of next month.

Drilling will be carried out in water 1500m deep at the Romney Prospect in the Taranaki Basin about 100 nautical miles (204km) west of Raglan after the Government granted a licence in 2006.

So the exploration will be 204 km offshore. That is akin to the distance between Wellington and Wanganui.

I also note he licence was granted in 2006. Will Labour condemn the exploration?

The well will be New Zealand’s deepest and comparable to the Macondo well, which spilled an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico during 87 days in 2010 after an explosion that killed 11.

Don’t you love it when media report advocacy as fact. Who says it is comparable to the Macondo well? Is it also comparable to the 39,999 wells that didn’t have a spill?

Mr Hooker is angry no-one consulted the people of Raglan and asked his opinion before the licence was granted.

“People are going to get riled up. They [Anadarko] are going to get a lot of obstruction to that job.”

Anadarko would be in the neighbourhood for a short time but its activities would have a permanent effect, he said.

“It’s going to ruin the seabed and the sealife. It’s going to f…… change the ecosystem on that coast and for what reason? For gold.”

You would think the exploration is happening 2 kms off-shore, not 204 kms out to sea.

The Dom Post editorial is a good read also:

Instead it has been left to industry spokesman David Robinson to point out that Greenpeace’s worst-case scenarios take no account of the differences between the Gulf of Mexico and New Zealand’s waters or the technological developments since the Deepwater disaster. Here, unlike the Gulf, the most likely finds are gas and light condensate, not heavy black oil. Here, the pressure in underwater fields is typically so low gas and condensate have to be pumped out. At Deepwater Horizon oil spewed out. Then, a cap for the well had to be designed and built before it could be deployed. Now so-called “stacking caps” are kept at strategic locations around the world, available to be deployed at a couple of weeks’ notice.

None of that is an excuse for complacency. Immense damage could be done even by a seeping well in a couple of weeks. But nor is it reason to turn the country’s back on an industry that could provide a massive boost to the economy, generate a swag of high-paying jobs and swell stocks of a scarce resource.

Details most would be unaware of.

Tags: , , ,

45 Responses to “Good news for the West Coast”

  1. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    ” NOOOOOOOOOO….Think of the snails man “…the snails !

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Colville (2,261 comments) says:

    Is there anything in Raglan other than hippy dope smoking surfers and the mongrel mob?

    They should be drilling the well in the middle of town!

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. thePeoplesFlag (242 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Unpopular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 43 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. In Vino Veritas (138 comments) says:

    Hmm. Wonder what David Cunliffe will think of this, since he is currently railing about lack of opportunity and the Government letting down the regions. I guess he’ll be lauding this and having a decent old donnybrook with his Green coalition partner?

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. kowtow (8,323 comments) says:

    Advocacy media……..

    …… like Campbell Live and that appalling piece on the the loopy left MPs cleaning the shitters in parliament.

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. stigie (1,108 comments) says:

    Yep, i will be buying more shares in Bathurst. This is very good news for the region.

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. skyblue (209 comments) says:

    TPF – who gives a toss what IPCC say? Their work is all fiction anyway.
    Drill baby drill.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    >Raglan Fishing Charters’ Brian Hooker is worried

    Hang on… he makes a living from an extractive industry that is associated with over-exploitation of fish stocks, and that also uses hydrocarbons and he is the environmentalist?

    This is about the same as Prince Charles lecturing us on the environment while he owns a Bentley and shoots any animals he encounters.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Wayne91 (143 comments) says:

    The PeoplesFlag -“leave it in the ground for the sake of everyones children”

    For the sake of children this is great news. Thier parent/s will have a well paying job that will clothe and feed them, educate them, spend money in the community that will benefit even more children indirectly. Tax and GST will be paid to help fund our infrastructure, heath and education – benefiting even more children.

    The potential options by leaving it in the ground? The trama of having to move away from friends and family or go on a benefit and possibly take away hope and aspiration and be more of a drain on the taxpayer.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    Fuck the hysteria is pretty strong in some of these nuts. 200km offshore is a long way out in a small boat.

    Something bad might happen! Which might take a week or longer to clear up!

    Oppose everything!

    Do nothing!

    Call for an inquiry!

    Call for another one!

    Green energy!

    Green jobs!

    Kum Ba Yah!

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Wayne91 (143 comments) says:

    RRM – what really pisses me off is that the tax payer seems to be the ones funding these idealogs in thier opposition to everthing, as in the case of this group that took Bathurst through the courts.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. RightNow (6,986 comments) says:

    ” is threatening to lead a fleet of boats to picket the Anadarko vessel”

    I hope they’re going to use paddle boats and not vessels powered with fossil fuels.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Are Norman and Cunliffe going to introduce legislation stopping this venture if they become government. Time for answers, and where does the jerk O’Connor stand? Come on, the locals want to hear!

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    DPF in May:

    How curious. Labour MP Damien O’Connor is writing to the Minister urging him to do whatever he can to get the mine approved, and to battle against Forest & Bird.

    Yet Labour MP and environment spokesperson Maryan Street has said the coal should be left in the hole.

    Typical Labour trying to be all things, for all people.

    Can anyone from Labour answer the question. What is the official policy of the Labour Party of whether or not the Denniston mine should be approved?

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/05/labour_on_denniston.html

    This looks similar to the Shane Jones versus Moana Mackie on oil and gas drilling.

    I’ve searched for anything from Cunliffe on Denniston and have found nothing. Perhaps he hasn’t worked out how to be duplicitous on this yet, or he may just prefer to try and stay invisible on it.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. srylands (408 comments) says:

    I have nothing against renewable energy, and some targeted subsidies I think are justified if you accept that there should be some price on carbon (which I do – although the current international price is cheap – so that is what we should pay).

    However, I become slightly hysterical when I hear Gareth Hughes talk about the “Green Economy” Green Energy” and “Green Jobs”. This is another example where the Government should hit back hard – otherwise people will believe the lies.

    1. There is no “green economy” (or at least I can’t find it)

    2. With current technology investing in renewables on scale is a net DRAIN on the economy – i.e compared to generating all our electricity by coal and gas, New Zealand is making itself poorer, and overall employment will be LESS than the alternatives.

    3. With current technology, renewables cannot provide energy on the scale we need for growth. So – again – any attempt to expand renewables on scale will make us poorer, and make energy the preserve of a rich elite. It is the poor who will especially suffer.

    These fundamentals are well understood by thinking people. Yet the media blandly report the “green jobs” mantra. It is scandalous.

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    1. There is no “green economy” (or at least I can’t find it)

    Of course there is.

    A stolen PS2 is worth 2 tinnies.

    A stolen PS3 is worth 5 tinnies.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Srylands,
    I dont understand why electricity demand is way down. Surely that excess capacity must be available to run things cheaply like the timber mills which a closing down

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. wf (428 comments) says:

    The Denniston plateau isn’t one of nature’s great beauty spots and I’m all for removing as much coal as can be economically shifted.
    Maybe there will be a valley with a more kindly eco-climate there and in 20years it will be overgrown with native species (and snails). The the grandchildren of the current protesters can add it to their playground with our blessings.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. flipper (3,985 comments) says:

    Denniston is the last place on earth that anyone would wasn’t to preserve.

    Go read “Denniston Rise” for a real life understanding.

    On the mining/off shore business, most everyone talks sense apart from the flag waver and his IPCC dippies.
    As for the proposed armada from Raglan….

    Mnnnn it is just as well we now have/will have bridges law in place. Pity we haven’t got Putin’s hooliganism laws…. up to 10 years in Mt Eden might cause a mind focus… or two :)

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. burt (8,238 comments) says:

    I also note he licence was granted in 2006. Will Labour condemn the exploration?

    It’s different when Labour do it……

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    Peoples Flag: Drive a car do you? Ever catch a plane? Have any plastic around the house? What do you think the computer you are inanely commenting on is made of? Unless you ride a wooden bike everywhere and have some new way of connecting to the interweb, you’re just another Green/communist dickhead…

    As for the hole off Raglan….if its 200 k’s offshore that’s about 15 hours steaming – and a helluva lot of diesel – each way for Mr Hooker and his proposed protest! I very much doubt his charter fishing vessel is capable of getting that far….and it it is, it won’t be pleasant!! Piss and wind down at the Raglan pub more than a serious plan is my guess…

    Quite apart from what they get from it, the drilling of the well in that depth of water and in the wild Tasman will be interesting to watch…Forget sub-surface formation pressures – the Tasman sea is sure as hell not the Gulf of Mexico….the latter is a mill pond by comparison…

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. mandk (968 comments) says:

    @thePeoplesFlag,

    Weren’t you the dude snivelling on KB the other day about there not being enough economic development to help working people on Struggle Street?

    Just goes to prove that you socialists (and your allies the Greens) don’t really care about working people – you just hate prosperity.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    I just had another look at Mr Hooker’s ravings “it’s going to ruin the seabed and the sealife…it’s going to f… change the ecosystem on that coast…” That’s complete ignorance plus two or three jugs at the reporter’s expense.

    If the repeater who wrote that story – or his editor – had the slightest idea of what drilling an offshore wildcat well involved they wouldnt have printed that….or if they did, they would have added a para. or two something like this:

    ” At the end of the drilling process, an offshore exploration well leaves a steel “sub-base”about 15 metres in diameter on the seabed. Assuming the well is plugged and abandoned – which is the outcome of 9/10 wells exploration wells drilled off the New Zealand coast – that slowly rusting marine-life-encrusted sub-base will be the only evidence a well was ever drilled there.”

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. flipper (3,985 comments) says:

    DG… EXCELLENT

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Have you seen photos of the Plateau? It’s pretty ugly to be blunt.

    I can supply photos of nice bits of the Denniston Plateau if you’d like to see them. It really bugs me how people can judge a place without actually visiting it.

    I’m all for the new mine by the way. I also think it is relevant to call out a stupid comment.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (876 comments) says:

    Wait for Russell Norman and Turei to march up and down Queen Street and David Cunliffe to announce that this license will be cancelled by lunch time when he assumes power. These two parties don’t want any development to happen in New Zealand and unfortunately they seem to be in majority now.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    Talking about conditions in the Tasman…one of the best jobs I ever had was as a tender (and later Gasman) on a diving ship working off Maui A…We spent most of the time steaming around the platform (on today’s equivalent of about $300 a day) because the conditions were too rough for us to come alongside the platform so the divers could work on it…and Maui A is about 30 k’s off the west coast, not 200!

    This drillship is a big bastard, capable in operating in water depths twice that it will encounter off Raglan….but my experience is 30 odd years out of date…Does someone know if they anchor drillships in depths like that these days, or still use DPS? If it’s the latter, things could get interesting if the swells get up, and they have 1500 metres of marine riser between the rig floor and the sub base…I guess they could get more interesting still if they anchor it, and a couple of the anchor chains ping…

    But I am starting to sound like Mr Wooden Bike Rider…Andarko have just had a USD 4 billion lesson of the results of being careless…that’s not pocket change for anyone…

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Redbaiter (8,551 comments) says:

    Two facts-

    Anadarko were not the operators of the Macondo well, they were only financial share holders. BP were the operators of the Macondo well. Anadarko has a good reputation as an operator, when it took that role.

    It is important to correct the lie that the Watermelons continually produce, that Anadarko were responsible for the Macondo blowout. They were just “silent partners” in the well.

    Secondly the Macondo well was 35000 feet deep. I doubt any well drilled off shore NZ is going to be anywhere close to this depth.

    Not that that is important. The issue with Macondo was procedure, and not related to any over stressing of equipment or technology. It was human error.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. stigie (1,108 comments) says:

    Agreed Reddy, good on you for pointing that out. You get sick an fucking tired of the Greens spinning their
    negative bullshit disrupting the economy of our country. When will it stop ?

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Albert_Ross (274 comments) says:

    That term “comparable” is a pretty weird one anyway. I myself am comparable to Einstein, Beyonce, Richie McCaw and Bill Gates – by comparison, I am respectively less clever, less good-looking, less fit and less rich than they are. So?

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    “..and possibly take away hope and aspiration and be more of a drain on the taxpayer”

    You mean become a Green voter?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    “I hope they’re going to use paddle boats and not vessels powered with fossil fuels.”

    You mean like the Artic 30 and the sailing boats and wakas they used. Oh. Wait….

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. duggledog (1,528 comments) says:

    Having been up on and into the Denniston Plateau, I can assure Kiwibloggers there is nothing there. It’s ‘pristine’ in the way the moon is, or Death Valley.

    Well I’m exaggerating but you know, it’s just… barren. And nobody lives anywhere near it save a handful of properties further down from the plateau.

    If you were going to make a bit of a mess somewhere, this would be the place to do it. And the fact is, given the strict requirements, any mess that is made will be tidied up.

    Mine it!!! Somebody in the Labour Party needs to come out and publicly tell the Greens to get fucked and they will not form a government with them, maybe it should be O’Connor.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    “You get sick an fucking tired of the Greens spinning their
    negative bullshit disrupting the economy of our country. When will it stop ?”

    When there is no economy and we are all scavenging in the bush for berries.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    gazzmaniac – “I can supply photos of nice bits of the Denniston Plateau if you’d like to see them”

    It wouldn’t hurt. I have never been there but every photo I have ever seen of it looks like duggledog’s Death Valley. Just pristine Rock.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. stigie (1,108 comments) says:

    Mine it!!! Somebody in the Labour Party needs to come out and publicly tell the Greens to get fucked and they will not form a government with them, maybe it should be O’Connor.

    Yep correct duggledog, but O’Connor will say one thing to the Westcoasters and another when he is in Wellington !

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    Secondly the Macondo well was 35000 feet deep. I doubt any well drilled off shore NZ is going to be anywhere close to this depth.

    That’s a bit deeper than the Clampett’s oil find. When you think that it’s about the height that passenger jets fly it’s a very deep hole.

    How deep are they likely to drill here?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. kowtow (8,323 comments) says:

    Scavenging in the bushes for berries will be punishable by death,so will having glasses or being a member of the middle classes.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Redbaiter (8,551 comments) says:

    Half that depth is considered deep in NZ.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Redbaiter (8,551 comments) says:

    Look, all this bitching about the watermelons will be pointless unless the attack is directed at where they gain the core support, and that is within the NZ government education system.

    Kids are being totally indoctrinated with a Green religious fervour that is far beyond any Christian effort and far more reminiscent of Adolf Hitler and his Hitler Jugen.

    It is a disgraceful misuse of the education system by a political clique and it just amazes me that we are so tolerant of what is not only a deep perversion of education but also a massive attack upon democracy.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    Happy to agree fully with Red for a change…except for one minor point…the Deepwater Horizon disaster was a SERIES of human errors, most if not all of them driven by saving money…or time, which in the oil business is the same thing…

    When it comes to money, unless they are restricted by the political environments in which they are working, oil companies are pretty much examples of pure capitalism…but then they do some odd things….I remember when I worked in the North Sea the company – Amoco as it then was – chartering a 747 to fly a tool that was too long for the cargo planes available at the time across the Atlantic …an empty 747 with a 50 foot long “dealie” lying in the aisle….IIRC by the time it arrived, they had worked out some other way…but that same company would tell us to hack holes in a $100 shaker screen if there were no coarser mesh ones available…

    IMO we DO need comprehensive rules and monitoring if we are to safeguard our environment…anyone who has worked in the oilfield where there is either inadequate regulation or rampant corruption will tell you that…

    Red: I believe a 16,000 foot well near Inglewood drilled by Petrocorp in the 1980’s remains the deepest here…

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. gravedodger (1,552 comments) says:

    @Flipper 1028, to void confusion as it is a great background read.

    “Denniston Rose” by Jenny Pattrick.

    The sequel was” Heart of Coal”.

    Good read people

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. big bruv (13,727 comments) says:

    Fantastic news for the coast and fantastic news for the Country. We need much more of this.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Redbaiter (8,551 comments) says:

    The Macondo well and wells like it are a massive logistical challenge and on technical terms almost equal to sending a space rocket to the moon.

    Go here for an excellent drawing of the Macondo well and the relief wells designed to stem the flow from the bottom.

    36″ casing to over 5000 feet.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    Red: FFS dont say that!! If the Luddites think it’s as complex as a moonshot (I agree with you), and you are in favour of it, they’ll come and picket you at the Mt Maunganui RSA!!

    Great graphic…once I had worked out how to enlarge it…

    Makes those little things you drilled in PNG look like water wells eh?

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.