HBRC staff member on fact finding mission to Canada

Press Release – Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

A Hawke’s Bay Regional Council staff member is heading to Canada next Friday (Feb 3) to find out more about oil exploration from regulatory authorities who have dealt with it.

Media Release

24 January 2012

HBRC staff member on fact finding mission to Canada

A Hawke’s Bay Regional Council staff member is heading to Canada next Friday (Feb 3) to find out more about oil exploration from regulatory authorities who have dealt with it.

TAG Oil has joined forces with Apache Corporation in Canada to carry out exploratory work in parts of the East Coast for petroleum resources. They are undertaking oil exploration work in three sites along the East Coast; one falls in the HBRC boundaries while the other two border them.

The trip was instigated by HBRC after having preliminary discussions with Canadian regulators, who are seen as the Centre of Excellence in a regulatory sense when it comes to oil exploration.

HBRC Compliance & Pollution Response Manager Bryce Lawrence will be spending time with regulatory authorities in Canada during the trip to get firsthand knowledge on the processes relating to oil exploration. He’ll also visit an exploration site at a similar stage to the East Coast work, as well as a mature oil field that’s fully operational. Meetings are also planned with environmentalists and representatives from Canada’s indigenous peoples community.

HBRC Chief Executive Andrew Newman says it is imperative the organisation has as much information on processing consents for oil exploration as possible before it starts working on any consents from Apache.

“This is a new area for us and we want to find out as much as we can about it so we can make decisions that are fully informed, if and when the resource consents are lodged,” says Andrew.

He says given the vast experience Canadian authorities have had dealing with oil exploration permits it made sense to visit Canada.

“To be able to speak face to face with the Canadian regulators who have dealt with what we’re about to deal with is invaluable.”

At HBRC’s request Alex Ferguson from Apache Corporation will make a presentation to tomorrow’s Corporate and Strategic Committee meeting to explain the process proposed for petrochemical exploration activity in the region.

Andrew Newman says from the outset HBRC has seen it as vital to ensure there is a fully transparent process in relation to oil exploration in Hawke’s Bay and encouraged Apache to communicate regularly with the public.

ENDS

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