Falklands : PUBLIC MEETING MONDAY, 19 AUGUST 2013
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 24.08.2013 (Article Archived on 21.09.2013)
A public meeting was held in the Court and Assembly Chamber of the town Hall at 1700hrs on Monday, 19 August 2013. Present were MLAs Edwards, Sawle, Hansen (Chair), Halford and Short. The session began with a question from Tim Miller.
MEETING MONDAY, 19 AUGUST 2013
1 Port Operations and Development
Question and Written Answer Plus Some Debate
meeting was held in the Court and Assembly Chamber of the town Hall at 1700hrs
on Monday, 19 August 2013. Present were
MLAs Edwards, Sawle, Hansen (Chair), Halford and Short. The session began with a question from Tim
Why is it
that there is so much secrecy about temporary port operations boat extension
plans in Stanley Harbour? Why are there
no outline planning applications? We
have been told that one company has had its plans for a temporary facility
refused but those of us who live around here have no idea where it was to be
nor on what grounds it was refused?
Another company has had their outline approved. Where and what is it that is proposed? How can any company be expected to take the
Falklands seriously if they are told whatever you do has to be removed after 3
years even if there is no permanent port built by then and therefore no port
being used? Is there not a chance that
oil companies could simply go away saying it is not feasible at the moment and
come back in 5, 10, 15 years as they tend to do elsewhere in the world so they
will just pay the annual rentals etc. and/or simply charter their own very
large cargo vessel moored in a false harbour and use their own dockside for
incoming freight and transhipping out to the rigs? And this of course would rule out any local
involvement and business employment in the hydrocarbons industry?
written answer is as follows:
Council at its meeting in July responded to two proposals the Falkland
Island(s’) Government had received from oil companies to site temporary jetty
facilities in Stanley harbour. The paper
has not been released to the public because it contains the detailed
negotiations that are ongoing between those companies and FIG.
from Noble Energy and its partners received in principle approval to go
ahead. But this is subject to further
negotiation on a number of issues. And
one of those issues is that EXCO has requested as part of their progress that
Noble undertake public consultation to explain what they are proposing, where
and over what time frame. I think we
envisage this as sometime in November.
All the required planning and environmental processes are also required
to be undertaken. Also at this meeting a
proposal from Premier Oil was rejected because it did not meet the acceptance
criteria required by members for a temporary port facility in Stanley.
Falkland Island(s’) Government has spent a great deal of time with oil
companies over the last year negotiating with them over their plans and
time-scales alongside our own ambitions for the future of Stanley, our desire
to protect the quality of life of people living in and around the town and our
future infrastructure needs we have identified for the Islands, including a new
port planned for Port William.
not believe the long-term presence of oil and gas in and around Stanley Harbour
is in the best interests of the community – our concern being the impact of a
24-hour day all year round over several years and what impact that industry
would have on people living in the town.
though, we have made it clear we are willing to negotiate and the statement of policy
principles produced by EXCO is part of that negotiation process.
fact that negotiation is on-going, it is difficult to go into detail too much
publically at this time. However, (the)
Falkland Island(s’) Government firmly believes we can work with oil companies
to enable further exploration is safe alongside the planned exploitation of the
Sea Lion Oilfield.
One of our
prime considerations is to enable the oil and gas industry to continue to
develop, which is in the interest of all concerned. But in doing so we must ensure that any
development including temporary jetties, etc. do not create long-term or
permanent harm to our community and society.
Halford added that in a way, this question was a little misleading in that it
suggests that outline (planning) approval has been approved for one company and
the other has been refused. Outline
would be for the Planning and Building Committee and they have not received any
outline or other applications in respect of any temporary facility or permanent
facilities for that matter.
asked what was planned for after – assuming the jetty is built for three
years. He wondered about any time lapse
between that 3 years and the time a permanent jetty is actually built. He felt it could not realistically be built
in 3 years.
said it depended on the planned oil development and if no oil were found Noble
Energy wouldn’t stay. That’s why a
temporary facility would be in place first.
Oil development, he continued, could take from 6 to 11 years or longer.
felt that with Premier Oil the longer development period would be potentially
said that premier Oil’s plan for a temporary facility in Stanley harbour did
not meet the criteria that was published.
He went on to say that when MLAs met with Premier Oil in London they
were very clear about this. Simon
Fletcher and Dick Sawle were at the meeting with all oil companies and it was
made clear to them what would be acceptable and what would not.
development of a port facility in Port William depends on a completely
different set of circumstances. FIG is
not prepared to take the full cost of that development from its reserves. A business case must be worked up that will
allow private investment in the port. It
is presently being worked on and results are expected back in due course –
around November. When this is received
it will be up to the private sector to invest in it.
continues to comment in part 2.