ASR - A Global Partner for the Sustainable Management of Coastal and Marine Resources

South Taranaki

Location: South Taranaki, New Zealand

Type of Project: Oil Spill, Numerical Modeling

Client: Origin Energy, New Zealand

ASR Projects- South Taranaki

Clockwise from upper left: Predicted costal impacts for an oil spill at the Kupe platform location; oil spill trajectory under a 15 knot west wind from the Kupe platform location for a release of 200 m3 over one tidal cycle (the scale is logarithmic and shows the oil “particle” visits to each model cell); tidal current rose at the Kupe platform location, the trajectory model domain showing the number of ‘oil particle’ visits to each ocean cell over the three-year continuous release of oil from the seabed at the Kupe platform (the scale is logarithmic, with the red areas indicating 106 more oil than the blue areas).

Project Overview:

Origin Energy proposed to develop the Kupe Gas Field, located off the southern coast of the Taranaki region in New Zealand. This required the construction of infrastructure in the marine environment to acquire (offshore wellhead platforms), transport (submarine pipelines) and store this resource. ASR Ltd were commissioned to undertake oceanographic, ecological and numerical modeling studies of the affected areas for the purpose of resource consent application, as set out in the Resource Management Act of 1991.

Project Outcomes:

In order to assess the potential impact from an oil spill at Kupe, ASR Ltd undertook an oil-spill trajectory model study of the region. The model domain covered all of the Greater Cook Strait, extending from Westport to New Plymouth on the West Coast, and including the Kaikoura and Wairarapa regions of the East Coast of New Zealand.

The aim of the trajectory study was to assess the likely dispersal patterns and the potential for beaching in the unlikely event that a spill would occur. The project scope was to develop a statistical probability map of beaching, the times for oil to beach under a range of realistic spill scenarios.

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