The Oil Free Seas Flotilla have successfully defended the sea above the site where oil giant Anadarko intends to start drilling.
Anadarko have so far failed to turn up at the site, despite an official ‘notice to mariners’ stating that they could have started drilling operations several days ago.
Land Information New Zealand Notices to Mariners Edition 23, dated 8 November says that ‘On or about 15 November 2013 until 14 February 2014 drilling operations will be performed by drillship Noble Bob Douglas’.
The drill site is over 100 nautical miles off the west coast of New Zealand, and in waters around a kilometer and a half deep.
The Oil Free Seas Flotilla is made up of six boats. They were cheered off by hundreds of New Zealanders from various ports earlier this week.
They are continuing to defend the site from the Noble Bob Douglas drilling ship, which has not yet been tested to drill at these depths.
Bunny McDiarmid, the executive director of Greenpeace, is onboard one of the boats. She said:
“The Texan oil giant Anadarko were supposed to start drilling days ago. But they haven’t.
“I reckon there’s something wrong with their huge, untested drilling ship, or they’re staying away while we’re right above the spot where they want to drill. Either way, it’s great to see that they’re not drilling.
“That’s great news for our seas, our beaches, and also our economy, and our children’s prosperity.”
This Saturday, New Zealanders can show their support for the flotilla by making a banner and getting down to their favourite west coast beach. There’s lots more details here.
The Oil Free Seas Flotilla is a loose association of individuals and boat owners who oppose deep-sea drilling and the new legislation that takes away New Zealander’s long-standing right to peacefully protest at sea. One of the boats taking part, the Vega, also sailed against French nuclear tests in the Pacific.
Earlier this year, the Government announced a controversial new law to ban aspects of protesting at sea, known as the ‘Anadarko Amendment’.
Here’s a link to the daily video blogs:
Anna Horne, spokesperson for the Oil Free Sea Flotilla, 021 0222 1389
Ana Mules, communications officer, Greenpeace: +64 21 2609186 firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Abel, energy campaigner, Greenpeace: +64 21 927301 email@example.com