Fish survey would do more harm than drilling

Oh, wow. Sharechat produced an article today that demonstrates without question that drilling in the Taranaki Basin does much less damage than we think… or that we are led to believe. quote.

Fish sampling proposed by submitters to Tamarind Resources’ planned drilling at the Tui field would do more harm than the campaign itself, a board of inquiry heard today.

Marine ecologist Alison MacDiarmid said surveys proposed by Te Korowai O Ngaruahine Trust for the remainder of the Tui consent would require bottom trawling which is a “destructive” process for both the seafloor and the fish caught.

The surveys were proposed as a way of measuring the direct and cumulative environmental effects of the drilling on fish stocks.

But to do that properly, MacDiarmid said surveys would have to be carried out at a large number of sites to provide a realistic control and probably for at least three years to allow for the potential year-to-year population variation. end quote.

Well, now that is interesting. Remember how all that nasty, evil drilling was going to destroy the Maui – or was it the Hector’s -dolphin? I can’t remember.

Yes, I can. It was the Maui dolphin. The ones that live in the Taranaki Basin. The numbers don’t seem to have changed much since Metirea Turei was walking around cuddling a plastic dolphin during the 2014 election campaign, predicting doom and extinction for the unfortunate Maui. The drilling is localised and drives straight into the seabed. Dolphins can avoid the drilling equipment easily. Fish surveys, however, are… a different kettle of fish. quote.

But to do that properly, MacDiarmid said surveys would have to be carried out at a large number of sites to provide a realistic control and probably for at least three years to allow for the potential year-to-year population variation.

She doubted they could capture the “extremely subtle” population changes that might result and said the trawling would do greater harm to fish stocks and the surrounding seafloor environment than the present application.

Tamarind is seeking approval to drill a series of side-track wells from three of the field’s existing wells next year. It has contracted a new, high-tech rig to help minimise the environmental impacts of the work, which a succession of experts have characterised as negligible to minor.

Yesterday the board heard the project, expected to take about three to four months and nine months in the worst-case scenario, could extend the life of the 11-year-old project by as much as six years and boost the Taranaki economy by about $110 million. end quote.

And we need it… once all the oil and gas permits have expired, all we will have left is Megan Woods’ wind turbines, which will be great until we get a calm period. I must start up a candle importing business. quote.

Yesterday the board heard that side-tracking drilling is slightly less risky than drilling a new well, given the integrity of a cased well, which is where the activity starts from.

Iain McCallum, who is managing the drilling project, said the target reservoir is also low-pressure and would be contained by sea water alone.

The principal means of controlling a well is by maintaining a greater weight of drilling mud in the well to keep reservoir fluids contained. A blow-out preventer also provides secondary protection for the rare risk of a failure. end quote.

So it is interesting to note that marine life is not much affected by the process of oil drilling… but surveys to determine how the marine life is affected cause more damage than the drilling process itself.

Stick that in your pipeline, Greenpeace.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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