Norwegian oil giant Statoil has struck out in the Reinga Basin and pulled the pin on exploration – denting the government’s resources strategy.When put up for tender in 2010, the area was described by government agency GNS Sciences as one of the most prospective frontier basins in New Zealand.
Statoil said strong opposition from some iwi and environmental groups to its programme off Northland’s west coast had not played a part in its decision to surrender the permit.
‘Some may speculate we are surrendering the permits for various reasons but the only reason is that we see the probability too low to justify continuing our search’ said Statoil New Zealand country manager Brynjulv Klove.
Following public consultation the information would go on property files and may have insurance implications for owners and planning implications for local authorities.
The data comes from Northland Regional Council’s coastal flood and coastal erosion zone maps – expected to be released in June – which identify around 14,000 properties that could experience severe flooding once a year by 2100.
The flood and erosion modelling took into account a sea level rise of 1m by the end of the century in line with the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent predictions.
Even a sea level rise of 30cm by 2100 – considered to be the best case scenario – would see today’s once-in-100-year storm event happening every year or so.
The NRC maps would show which areas would be inundated during such an event.
(ed: what will john key do about this..?..probably issue some more oil-exploration licences..and order some more diesel bmw limos..eh..?..)