BP leaving Bight: APPEA disappointed, Greens say ‘good riddance’
In its announcement on Monday, BP said nothing on the recent pressure by environmental groups for the oil giant to abandon the project due to environmental concerns. Since the start of BP’s proposed project the Australian Greens and the Greenpeace have released several statements deeming the project an environmental disaster waiting to happen, even pointing to BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
While BP avoided the environmental aspect, and the activist pressure in its announcement, APPEA’s Doman said: “The oil and gas industry recognizes that activist scare campaigns have fueled concern about exploration activity in the Bight. It is important that public discussion about the industry remains anchored in information that is factual, complete and relevant to the environment where the activity will take place. We will continue to work with local stakeholders and the wider community to address their questions and concerns.”
He said that with proper regulatory oversight, there is no reason a safe, sustainable offshore petroleum industry should not be possible for South Australia, as it has been in Victoria and WA for several decades.
Greens: Good riddance!
To remind, BP has said its decision to leave the GAB is purely economical. However, the Australian Greens have issued a statement titled: “BP out of the Bight: Community 1, Big Oil 0,” hinting that the public pressure was a factor as well.
South Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said: “BP has said goodbye to the Bight, I say good riddance to BP. This is a great win for the community who made it clear that BP wasn’t welcome from the beginning.
“BP should never have been given an exploration permit, especially considering the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Big Oil should see the writing on the wall. BP knew that this project was never going to get approval and was deeply unpopular with the South Australian community. Now we need to protect the Great Australian Bight from all of the other companies who are trying to put it at risk.”
“Big Oil should see the writing on the wall. BP knew that this project was never going to get approval and was deeply unpopular with the South Australian community. Now we need to protect the Great Australian Bight from all of the other companies who are trying to put it at risk.”
She also said that the Greens have a Bill before the Senate that would “permanently protect the Great Australian Bight from companies that are trying to drill for oil and gas.”
“It’s time that Bill was supported so that this precious natural environment can be protected for generations to come,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
BP had proposed to drill four wells in the area, however, that drilling program was rejected by the regulatory body NOPSEMA. BP then submitted another drilling program, proposing two wells. The final decision for the two well program has been postponed by NOPSEMA, which has asked for more information from BP regarding the proposed program.