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Shell Accused of Unlawful Drilling in New Zealand

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29MOSCOW, October 9 (RIA Novosti) – Oil and gas giant Shell and its New Zealand partner firm Todd Energy were accused of unlawful offshore drilling in New Zealand, but managed to evade court prosecution and only received a warning letter, New Zealand News UK reports.

According to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) violated the law while carrying out drilling in the Maui oil and gas field without prior approval. Maui is the largest and the most important of New Zealand’s gas and oil fields. To legally carry out drilling activities in the area, companies need to apply for a special resolution or marine permission from the EPA, according to new regulations.

“If an operator wishes to undertake activities […] such as any new structure or pipeline associated with an existing activity, making changes in the character, intensity or scale of an activity, or any alteration, extension, removal of existing structures or pipelines, they will need to request a ruling or apply for a marine consent from the EPA.”

The co-leader of New Zealand’s Green Party Russel Norman stressed that the behavior of STOS is incomprehensible and New Zealand’s authorities must apply proper punishment measures.

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