Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Oil spill fouls Taranaki stream, New Zealand

A Canadian oil company is in trouble with the Taranaki Regional Council after crude oil spilled from its Copper-Moki wellsite into the Ngaere Stream.

The council is considering taking legal action against the company after the spill, which happened in April at the Cheal Rd wellsite of Vancouver-based New Zealand Energy Corporation.

A separator failure had caused oil to discharge into a flare pit, according to the unauthorised incident register, which was on the agenda at the council's consents and regulatory committee yesterday.

Oil leached into the soil and entered a tile drain, where it flowed through a manhole into the stream. The amount of oil was not specified.

The unauthorised incidents register also shows the council is investigating another NZEC site.

A routine inspection at NZEC's Talon wellsite in Crompton Rd, Alton, found the council had not been informed that the site had been reinstated, which is contrary to the resource consent.

In the past month, two oil companies were fined for breaching resource consents. Read More