Anadarko drilling to begin soon, despite protest ships

SV Vega confronts the Noble Bob Douglas drilling ship on the site where oil giant Anadarko intends to start exploratory drilling for deep sea oil. The drill site is over 100 nautical miles off Raglan,
SV Vega confronts the Noble Bob Douglas drilling ship on the site where oil giant Anadarko intends to start exploratory drilling for deep sea oil. The drill site is over 100 nautical miles off Raglan,

Texan oil giant Anadarko says it has no plans to delay oil drilling in New Zealand waters, despite protest ships hovering over the designated drilling spot.

Anadarko New Zealand manager Alan Seay said drill ship the Noble Bob Douglas was on track to begin drilling 185km off the coast of Raglan in Waikato later tomorrow or early Friday.

A flotilla of six protest ships at the drilling location, including one which was within a 500m safety zone of the Bob Douglas, were "just doing what it's doing'', Mr Seay said.

Greenpeace energy campaigner Steve Abel, who is based in Auckland, said sea conditions had picked up today.

The Vega, one of the six flotilla vessels, remained within the 500m safety zone of the Bob Douglas, he said.

"It's a little less comfortable for them, but that goes with the territory.

"They are resolute, they intend to stay and there are no signs of any authorities.''

The flotilla ships, which are being co-ordinated by the Oil Free Sea Flotilla organisation, gathered at the protest spot yesterday morning.

- APNZ

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