Oil group pushes on with fracking plans

Shell Todd Oil Services is so confident a Government inquiry into fracking will prove the practice is safe, the company is pushing ahead with plans to frack at Kapuni.

South Taranaki iwi representatives were told yesterday that Stos has consent from the Taranaki Regional Council for fracking activity for two new wells at Kapuni and is now working through the land use consent.

Stos general manager and chairman for Shell in New Zealand Rob Jager made a presentation to the iwi liaison committee meeting at the South Taranaki District Council chambers.

"We think [fracking] can work, it can certainly be done safely.

"If it works, it's possible to anticipate a number of other wells at Kapuni."

Te Kahui o Rauru's Darryn Parata asked why Stos would not wait until the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's investigation.

He recalled a previous TRC presentation where the Kapuni site had not been properly cleaned up.

Mr Jager said that was a separate issue to fracking. In that incident, during cleaning of a flare pit, condensate had seeped into the wall of the pit, resulting in traces of hydrocarbon being found in the area.

Stos does not intend to use flare pits in future and practices which were deemed acceptable 20 years ago were not anymore, he said.

Mr Jager said the commissioner's report would probably recommend additional requirements for fracking.

"I'm confident the independent review will show that when done properly, the activity can be done safely, very safely."

Ngati Ruanui's Ngapari Nui said Stos needed to foster better relationships with iwi.

Mr Jager said it was his first time at the iwi liaison meeting. "But that's not for lack of trying. It has to be a two-way street."

Taranaki Daily News