The Deepwater Horizon rig that leaked more than 500,000 tonnes of oil into the Gulf of Mexico was drilling an exploratory well in 1500 metres of water. During this disaster, 7,000 US Coast Guard personnel and over 40,000 other emergency personnel were not able to contain the leak for some 86 days, and clean-up has cost an estimated $45 billion.
Drilling in New Zealand is more dangerous than in the Gulf of Mexico, because we have wilder seas, greater earthquake risk, and handle much heavier oils.
Despite the greater risk, we have even less capacity to respond to a blow-out.
Dane Maxwell of Maritime New Zealand said about oil spill response equipment, “Most of the response equipment that we have is designed for near-shore sheltered conditions and really there isn’t available internationally any equipment specifically designed to operate in the rough kind of conditions offshore that we have in New Zealand.”
Even the industry admits there are no guarantees of safety with deep sea drilling.
So lets protect our precious beaches and oceans from oil spills by saying no to deep water drilling.