Ministers welcome final PCE report on oil and gas

Labour Environment Energy and Resources

Ministers today welcomed a report released by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment on oil and gas drilling.

Environment Minister Amy Adams and Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges say the Commissioner’s report is a useful contribution to the discussion on how best to manage the environmental effects of onshore petroleum development, including hydraulic fracturing.

“The Commissioner recognises that environmental impacts from petroleum development, including hydraulic fracturing, can be effectively managed if best practice is followed,” the Ministers say.

“We do need to consider how the industry may develop in the future. Ministers will analyse and consider the Commissioner’s recommendations.”

The Government has significantly strengthened the health and safety and environmental regime around petroleum, including the implementation of new health and safety petroleum regulations, amending the health and safety requirements in the Crown Minerals regime and establishing the High Hazards Unit. 

In March this year, the Government also released guidelines to clarify regulatory roles and help councils manage the effects of onshore petroleum development, including hydraulic fracturing.

“These guidelines provide support to ensure that hydraulic fracturing is managed in a sound and responsible way,” Ms Adams says.

“The environmental risks of onshore petroleum development, including hydraulic fracturing, can be effectively managed if best practice is followed. These guidelines provide clear direction so that hydraulic fracturing is carried out in a robust, controlled and well regulated manner.

“The Ministry for the Environment will be monitoring the effectiveness of the guidelines and any future review of the guidelines will be informed by the Commissioners report.”

“New Zealand’s abundance of energy and minerals resources provides us with unique opportunities to grow our economy,” Mr Bridges says.

“But it’s not about development at any cost, and the Government is committed to developing our resources in a safe and environmentally responsible way.”  

The Guidelines for Managing Environmental Effects of Onshore Petroleum Development Activities (Including Hydraulic Fracturing) are available at: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/managing-environmental-effects-onshore-petroleum-development-activities/managing-environmental-effects-of-onshore-petroleum-development-activities-pdf.pdf