Maui gas field gets green light to operate for another 35 years (New Zealand)

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) for 35 years to undertake activities relating to extracting, producing and transporting natural gas and condensate in and from the Māui natural gas field, located offshore New Zealand. 

The EPA forms part of an integrated regulatory regime for managing activities in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf (CS)

According to EPA, the marine consent covers work at STOS’ existing structures known as Māui Platform Alpha and Māui Platform Bravo and all associated structures and submarine pipelines. It is subject to conditions, which will be monitored and enforced by the EPA.

The application was considered by a Decision-making Committee (DMC) appointed by the EPA Board.

“After considering all of the information provided, the DMC decided that granting the marine consent would accord with the sustainable management purpose of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act,” EPA said.

Furthermore, the overall effect of the operations at the Māui offshore facilities, including the proposed drilling programme, on the environment and existing interests was found to be negligible to minor, EPA added.

The DMC considered that the adverse effects could be appropriately avoided, remedied or mitigated through imposing conditions on the marine consent and the requirements of other marine management regimes.

This is the second publicly notified application for a marine consent to be granted by the EPA. The first was granted to OMV for operations at their Maari field.

EPA informs that appeals on the marine consent granted to STOS can be lodged with the High Court only on points of law until June 26, 2015.

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