Regulator Rejects BP's Australian Drilling Plan

Great Australian Bight
Coastline of the Great Australian Bight

By MarEx 2015-11-18 09:25:27

Australia’s oil and gas regulator NOPSEMA has rejected BP’s environment plan for exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

BP has submitted plans to drill four deepwater exploration wells in the waters of the nation’s south from next year. It was required to demonstrate how it would manage the risk of an oil spill and address community concerns about the environmental impact.

The Wilderness Society of South Australia's director Peter Owen said that BP had submitted what he considers to be an inadequate application.

“It doesn't appear that BP even completed an oil pollution emergency plan or a comprehensive risk assessment,” he said. “BP should take this opportunity to drop its plan to drill in the Great Australian Bight especially after it released a statement last month saying it supported action on climate change.”

NOPSEMA has given BP the opportunity to resubmit a new plan for consideration, and BP has issued a statement saying it will submit an alternative proposal.

“It is usual for NOPSEMA to provide initial feedback that titleholders need to address before resubmitting an updated version,” said a spokesman for the company.

The proposed drilling area has water depths of approximately 1,000 to 2,500 meters. At its closest point, the proposed drilling area is approximately 400 kilometers west of Port Lincoln and 300 kilometers south-west of Ceduna. The wells will be drilled using a new-build mobile offshore drilling unit which has been specially designed for use in deep water.

BP has published a video on the project here.

The Wilderness Society has published a video on its concerns here.