3 Oct 2014

Oil boss criticises green bureaucracy

9:25 am on 3 October 2014

An energy conference in Auckland has heard a scathing attack on what was termed bureaucratic green tape said to be slowly strangling the oil and gas industry.

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Octanex oil company director James Willis told the New Zealand Petroleum Summit the Environmental Protection Authority is struggling to administer the new legislation it regulates.

"Before an offshore seismic survey can be undertaken the operator must notify DOC, lodge a marine mammal impact assessment, commit to adhering to the DOC 2013 code of conduct, have on board at all times a marine mammal observer, have on board passive acoustic monitoring equipment, etcetera."

He said huge costs and needless activities are required of oil companies, sometimes for poor reasons such as the protection of marine reptiles that are not even found in New Zealand waters.

Gary Taylor of the Environmental Defence Society said the EPA is being thorough and it was pleasing in a way to hear the industry was uncomfortable with that extent of thoroughness.

Some other oil industry executives also defended the Environmental Protection Authority, although they did concede it is still new.