The programme will involve acquiring seismic information across a block awarded to the venture in December 2012 (PEP 54863) that is part of the work commitment for the exploration permit. It will also obtain further seismic information across the northern part of block (PEP 50119).

Seismic surveys are used to image the sub-surface strata deep below the sea floor. The survey vessel will record sound waves into a streamer of hydrophones of 8000m in length.

Shell was a signatory to the original voluntary Department of Conservation (DoC) Code of Conduct for Minimising Acoustic Disturbance to Marine Mammals from Seismic Survey Operations and will implement the measures under the recently revised 2013 Code as now required by regulation under the Exclusive Economic Zone legislation.

In accordance with the Code, the vessel will have a team of four independent marine observers on board who will maintain 24 hour visual and passive acoustic watches to minimise the potential disturbance to marine mammals. If marine mammals are detected within specific zones as defined by the Code, the survey will be shut down until the marine mammals have moved out of the area. These observers are also required to record data on all marine mammal observations and report this information to DoC.

“Shell New Zealand is committed to open communication with local stakeholders, and to adhering to stringent safety and environmental standards to minimise potential harm to people and the environment during this activity,” says Rob Jager, Country Chairman, Shell New Zealand.

“We believe that continuing community engagement and participation is crucial for developing open, meaningful dialogue and building trust. Our commitment is to hold regular community meetings in the areas where we operate, to listen, receive feedback and respond to queries about our business activities,” says Mr Jager.

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Media contact:

Tui MacDonald, Communications Advisor – (04) 471 4563

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