A consent has been granted to an international oil and gas company related to plans to drill in the Great South Basin.

The Environmental Protection Authority held hearings in Dunedin starting in July this year related to Austria-based OMV's intention to drill an oil and gas exploration well costing about $80 million in the basin this summer.

Graphic / ODT
Graphic / ODT

The hearing was limited to the effects of a small potential discharge of harmful substances from the drill rig's deck drains.

The panel has granted the consent with conditions.


In its decision, it considered effects on species and the marine environment.

It was the panel's understanding the effects on climate change of discharging greenhouse gases into the air was "explicitly ruled out as a matter that we can have regard to" through the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act.

Submitters became frustrated at the hearing that they were restricted to the consent at hand and unable to express views on the wider project.