Statoil is 67% owned by the Norwegian government. It wants to carry out an exploration program in NZ’s offshore waters and will meet representatives of the Northern regional council and 22 hapu tomorrow to discuss its plans.
A spokesman for Statoil said it was doing the right thing by talking to individual iwi, and Statoil had been keeping iwi informed continuously about what it was doing. He said the company had been following the normal process of meeting with iwi chairpeople.
“We feel it’s correct to engage with the elected iwi chairperson. That’s how the protocol should be, based on the UN indigenous people protocols.” Well, Statoil has a record concerning such “engagements”.
- In 2006 Statoil accepted a $ 10.5 million fine for violating the U.S Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- A Statoil consultant and 2 others were tried in November 2011, for having received 7 million Norwegian kroner, in exchange for contracts and payments totaling “several tenfold” of millions of Norwegian kroner.
- In 2012, a British company (Ecclesiastical Investment) announced that they were selling their stake in Statoil, as a result of perceived unethical practices related to Athabasca oil sands projects.
Large companies like Statoil are a stain upon the oil industry for two main reasons.
- They use their financial resources to buy off anyone who obstructs their projects, thereby setting a precedent other companies find hard to follow.
- They’re happy to abide by any number of ridiculous and costly govt regulations for they know by encouraging govts in these practices they simultaneously make it very difficult for smaller operators to enter the industry and be profitable.
Greenpeace has accused Statoil officials of “secret meetings” in Wellington and Northland.
One has to wonder what precedents Statoil will be busy setting in its dealings with Northland Iwi, local govt and central govt. It sure as hell is fertile ground for all kinds of murky deals. I doubt much will occur there that will bring the industry any real credit.