Equinor Knocked Back Again: NOPSEMA Cites ‘Oil Spill Risk’ and Other Issues

The offshore oil and gas regulator NOPSEMA has once again taken issue with the environmental plan submitted by Equinor as part of their attempts to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

Citing a lack of information relating to ‘consultation, source control, oil spill risk, and matters protected under Part 3 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999’, NOPSEMA has given the Norwegian oil giant 21 days to resubmit their environmental plan.

“We know that this project doesn’t make sense economically for South Australia and it’s becoming increasingly clear that the environmental case doesn’t stack up either,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, Director of The Australia Institute, South Australia.

Australia Institute research has shown that South Australia stands to gain just one tenth of one percent of total state revenues from the project over its forty year lifetime.

“We already know that 60% of Australians and 68% of South Australians are opposed to opening up the Bight for oil drilling.

“Australia Institute research demonstrates more than 10,000 South Australian jobs in coastal tourism, fisheries and aquaculture rely on the Bight and our healthy oceans to survive. A significant oil spill in the Great Australian Bight would be a disaster for the South Australian economy.

“Accelerating the transition to renewable sources of energy, rather than opening up new fossil fuel frontiers makes sense both in terms of tackling climate change and for South Australia’s economy.”

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