Norwegian company, Equinor has abandoned its plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight, woohoo!
Despite being granted environmental approval in December 2019, Equinor has stated that their exploration drilling plan is ‘not commercially competitive’ when compared to other opportunities.
They’ve become the third major fossil fuel producer to abandon plans to drill in the Bight, following BP in 2016 and Chevron in 2017.
Equinor’s ‘environmentally’ approved plans involved drilling 372 kilometres south of the Nullabor coastline, and would’ve allowed the company to drill 24 hours a day for around 60 days, between November and April in either 2020–21 or 2021–22.
Nation-wide grassroots environmental campaign, Fight for the Bight, has fiercely opposed Equinor’s attempts to drill in the Bight for multiple years due to the threat of a major oil spill. Based on Equinor’s own predictions, any major oil spill in the Bight would pollute the Aussie coastline, from Margaret River in WA to Port Macquarie in NSW. That’s a lotta waves and animals under potential threat.
The company’s manager for Australia, Jone Stangeland has said, ‘We will engage with the federal and state authorities regarding our decision to discontinue the exploration program.’
The Federal Government still remains supportive of oil drilling in the Bight, despite having multiple major fossil fuel producers deciding against their own projects.
We’ll take this as a major victory for now! Woohoo!