Maui A

Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) has secured marine consent to continue extracting, producing, and transporting natural gas and condensate from New Zealand’s Maui offshore field.

The consent by the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority allows the company to operate the field for up to 35 more years.

It covers work to be carried out at the company’s existing Maui Platform Alpha and Maui Platform Bravo structures, along with all associated structures and submarine pipelines.

EPA’s decision making committee (DMC) considered the application by reviewing all information provided and decided to grant the consent.

DMC said the consent would be in accordance with the sustainable management purpose of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act.

New Zealand Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges said: "The Maui field is New Zealand’s most successful offshore gas discovery and continues to make an important contribution to our economy and our energy security.

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"Natural gas is used by thousands of businesses and in hundreds of thousands of homes across the North Island."

"Natural gas is an essential part of New Zealand’s energy mix. It is used by thousands of businesses and in hundreds of thousands of homes across the North Island."

According to Bridges, the offshore gas field still produces roughly a fifth of the country’s natural gas and has been the primary source of natural gas in New Zealand.

Various environmental groups opposed STOS’s application due to concerns about the impact of potential oil spills.

Prior to granting the consent, DMC found the overall effect of the operations at the Maui offshore facilities to be negligible to minor.

The committee considered that by imposing conditions on the marine consent, adverse effects could be appropriately remedied or mitigated.

Image: Shell Todd Oil Services’ existing Maui Platform Alpha. Photo: courtesy of Rob Tucker