Taranaki drilling a fail for Anadarko

SUSAN STRONGMAN AND SIOBHAN DOWNES
Last updated 12:28 04/02/2014
Noble Bob Douglas
TARYN UTIGER
The Anadarko exploration drill ship Noble Bob Douglas is one of the world's most advanced deep sea drilling vessels.

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Texan oil company Anadarko says it has found no commercially viable oil or gas in its deep-sea well in the Taranaki Basin.

The drill ship Noble Bob Douglas will move to the Canterbury Basin this week.

"It's a disappointment, but this is by far the most frequent outcome in exploratory drilling," Anadarko New Zealand's corporate affairs manager Alan Seay said.

The 4619-metre well, which was drilled under 1500m of water, will be plugged and abandoned over the next few days, he said.

Anadarko spent about 70 days drilling in deep water off the Taranaki coast, at a cost of up to US$250 million (NZ$309m). The company's licence to drill in the Deepwater Taranaki Basin ends on February 14.

"In terms of the drilling operation, the ship performed above and beyond expectations," Seay said.

Energy campaigner for Greenpeace Steve Abel said it was a "real bad day" for Anadarko and the New Zealand Government.

"The Texan oil giant has not only announced that their New Zealand drilling has failed, they've also announced a loss of over $950 million dollars in the last quarter," he said.

"[Prime Minister John] Key's ministers have wasted a whole load of political capital on this bungle.

"Instead, they should be backing our own cutting-edge clean energy industry, which will bring thousands of jobs and a multi-billion dollar economic boost.

"That's what smart politicians would be doing."

In November, Greenpeace unsuccessfully challenged the Environmental Protection Agency in the High Court to have the granting of Anadarko's offshore drilling permit declared erroneous.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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