Petrobas Postpones Oil Drilling Plans in New Zealand

Petrobas, a huge Brazilian oil firm, has called off its plans to perform deep sea oil drilling in New Zealand’s off coast.

The third biggest oil company of the world has decided to give back  its oil exploration licenses for deep sea prospects of oil and gas to the government, effectively leaving behind its plans for deep sea drilling in New Zealand.

Facing production and revenue problems, the decision of Petrobas to abandon its prospects in New Zealand comes after strong opposition from the public and coastal inhabitants who were worried of the worst case scenario of a possible offshore oil spill.

For the last 18 months, Greenpeace New Zealand and Te Whanau a Apanui, a community living near the potential locations, have been tirelessly working to avert the plans of deep sea oil drilling.

A petition opposing the oil drilling plans was signed by about 140,000 New Zealanders. Moreover, a fleet of demonstrations stopped the oil exploration plans of Petrobas for one week.

Aside from that, this is considered a big blow to the government of New Zealand which has been working so hard to grow its oil and gas industry.

Moreover, the decision of Petrobas should be taken as a reminder to other giants in the oil industry, like Shell, that there are segments of growing opposition to continuing oil exploration in places like the Arctic.

By: Chris Termeer