Greenpeace steps up fight against Equinor in Bight

GREENPEACE has called on the federal government to reject Equinor’s request for an extension on its Great Australian Bight drilling plans and is campaigning to have the Bight awarded similar protections to that of the Great Barrier Reef.
Greenpeace steps up fight against Equinor in Bight Greenpeace steps up fight against Equinor in Bight Greenpeace steps up fight against Equinor in Bight Greenpeace steps up fight against Equinor in Bight Greenpeace steps up fight against Equinor in Bight
 
The organisation has recently stepped up its campaign to fight exploration and later production in the Bight and has moved its flagship Rainbow Warrior vessel into the area to protest Equinor's proposed activities in the area which include the Stromlo-1 exploration well, to be drilled next year. 
 
In June 2017, Equinor, then Statoil, became operator and 100% owner of exploration permits EPP39 and EPP40. The permits cover approximately 12,000sq.km in the Bight. 
Equinor was a former joint venture partner with BP, and has spent years developing these Bight plans. 
 
Thirteen local councils, the commercial fishing industry, scientists, the Greens and other environmental activists, and the tourism industry have publicly opposed Bight drilling.
 
 "This latest request for more time is a clear sign the company should follow the example of BP and Chevron and quit this high-risk, experimental, inherently unsafe drilling project," Greenpeace Australia Pacific senior campaigner Nathaniel Pelle said.
 
"Despite their near limitless financial resources, neither of these oil giants has been able to produce a safe proposal. And the reason for that is that there is no safe way to drill in the Bight. The stakes for the communities, industries, and the environment are too high for us to gamble on this fantasy." 
 
Last month Greenpeace obtained a draft report from Equinor suggesting the worst case scenario for an oil spill ion the Bight could be catastrophic and dwarf the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of last decade. 
 
The draft report, which was leaked to Greenpeace from within the company showed that a spill could stretch as far around the coastline as Esperance in Western Australia, varied parts of South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales, but not all of these locations at the same time; how a spill would migrate would depend on weather and tides. 
 
A separate report from BP which shelved its plans to operate in the Bight after failing to gain National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority approval showed that a worst case oil spill could release 7.9 billion barrels of oil into Australia's southern ocean. 
 
However that is a general worst case scenario and it is not one the oiler sees as likely.  

 

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