Tag Oil able to extend flaring

16:00, Dec 21 2012

Tag Oil has been given permission to continue flaring gas at its Cheal A plant until the end of March, 2013.

A hearing was held last month before commissioner Mick Lester after Tag had been flaring for 10 months contrary to its resource consent which said it could only flare in an emergency.

The unforeseen circumstances which had made flaring necessary should be resolved by the end of March, Tag representative Andrea Smith told the hearing in November.

The commissioner ruled any flaring must not be above the 2 metre bund surrounding the flare pit.

Tag will also be required to pay a financial contribution to offset "the increased intensification of land use by an industrial activity which is out of character with the character of the surrounding area."

Stratford District Council director of community and environmental services Mike Avery said that this would be a one-off payment.

He won't know how much the payment will be until "gas production is finalised", but at 0.5 per cent of value of the development it could be a "significant amount", he said.

Under the District Plan all payments must be spent on reserves in the area.

Submitters have 15 working days, starting on January 11, to appeal Mr Lester's decision.

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