No Seismic Surveys in World Heritage Area, Australian Gov’t Says
Australian authorities have rejected Apache’s application to undertake a three-dimensional (3D) marine seismic survey in Commonwealth and Western Australian waters, located in Exploration Permit WA-155-P and Petroleum Retention Lease TR/3 with ingress into surrounding areas, including the Muiron Islands Marine Management Area.
A release signed by the The Hon Tony Burke MP, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, says that proposed action will have clearly unacceptable impacts on the Ningaloo World Heritage Area protected by Part 3 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The government’s decision was welcomed by Western Australia’s environment and sustainability group the Conservation Council.
“This is a commonsense decision because the Ningaloo World Heritage Area is not the right place for oil development,” said CCWA Marine Coordinator Tim Nicol.
The timing of the proposal also coincides with the breeding season for endangered loggerhead turtles.
“We know very little about the impacts of seismic testing on a whole range of marine species, including sea turtles,” said Nicol, “Clearly these are risks that do not belong in a World Heritage Area or near our precious Ningaloo Reef.
“The eventual outcome sought by oil companies when they explore for oil is to drill for oil, and oil drilling so close to Ningaloo is also an unacceptable risk.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff, January 15, 2013