• Dec. 9, 2016, 3:43 am

Senate to examine BP’s plans to drill for oil in Great Australian Bight

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Senate to examine BP’s plans to drill for oil in Great Australian Bight” was written by Michael Slezak, for theguardian.com on Monday 22nd February 2016 04.25 UTC

A Senate inquiry will investigate BP’s plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight and examine how a spill could be dealt with.

The company’s application to drill four exploratory wells was knocked back last year by National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, but details of why were not made public. BP quickly vowed to reapply.

The Wilderness Society South Australia director, Peter Owen, said BP should wait until after the inquiry had reported in May before it submitted its new application.

BP was responsible for the world’s biggest oil spill in 2010, at the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon was drilling in 1,500 metres of water 70km off the coast when it leaked. In the Great Australian Bight, BP plans to drill at depths of 2,200 metres, about 300km from its closest port.

The independent senator Nick Xenophon and the Greens senator Robert Simms instigated the inquiry, supported by Labor and the crossbenchers Glenn Lazarus and Jacqui Lambie.

“BP must be held to account for its shocking environmental record and poor community consultation,” Simms said. “BP’s initial submission to drill for oil off the Great Australian Bight was turned down by the regulator, NOPSEMA, and it is high time this issue was put under the microscope.”

Modelling showed a spill from BP’s proposed oil wells could affect most of Australia’s southern coastline, shutting down fisheries and threatening wildlife including whales, seabirds and sea lions.

The company’s application to drill four exploratory wells was knocked back last year by National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, but details of why were not made public. BP quickly vowed to reapply.

The Wilderness Society South Australia director, Peter Owen, said BP should wait until after the inquiry had reported in May before it submitted its new application.

BP was responsible for the world’s biggest oil spill in 2010, at the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon was drilling in 1,500 metres of water 70km off the coast when it leaked. In the Great Australian Bight, BP plans to drill at depths of 2,200 metres, about 300km from its closest port.

The independent senator Nick Xenophon and the Greens senator Robert Simms instigated the inquiry, supported by Labor and the crossbenchers Glenn Lazarus and Jacqui Lambie.

“BP must be held to account for its shocking environmental record and poor community consultation,” Simms said. “BP’s initial submission to drill for oil off the Great Australian Bight was turned down by the regulator, NOPSEMA, and it is high time this issue was put under the microscope.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.

Get Daily Digest

No spam guarantee.

Leave A Comment