Saturday 22nd of February 2020

what we don't want to see...

bightbight

Greenpeace sought access to BP’s “well operation management plan”, held by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority. Nopsema refused access to parts of the document, listing a range of reasons.

It cited one as “the likelihood of opposition/protest groups using the information to oppose all drilling activities in the Great Australian Bight”.

Pelle told Guardian Australia that Greenpeace was appealing the decision. “Obviously civil society groups have a legitimate role in discussing what environmental risks are appropriate,” he said.

In an email to the authority, Pelle wrote: “The implication of this argument is that it is unreasonable for civil society groups to oppose high-risk activities based on the facts. This is not an appropriate determination for NOPSEMA to make.”

Nopsema also considered that some of the document was too technical for it to properly inform the public. “Given its highly technical scope prepared for a confined audience with specific well-engineering expertise, it is unlikely to inform the community about the government’s operations or enhance scrutiny of government decision-making,” it said.

This was despite the FoI Act explicitly stating that government agencies cannot consider whether releasing information “could result in confusion or unnecessary debate”.

“It is unheard of, in my experience, and is clearly not true,” Pelle said. “We’ve had multiple experts from the US and Australia taking part in the debate.”

Nopsema told Guardian Australia it wasn’t appropriate to comment on the matter while it was still possible for Greenpeace to have its decision reviewed.

But a spokeswoman said Nopsema’s chief executive, Stuart Smith, was an advocate for greater transparency, including “for example, releasing full environment plans upfront and providing a public comment period”.

That is not allowed under current regulations, so Nopsema can only release the documents when required to under FoI laws.

read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/02/great-australian-big...

except what they don't want you to know...

Freedom of information

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has responsibility for regulating and providing advice on the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). The FOI Act is the legislative basis for open government in Australia and covers Australian Government ministers and most agencies.

Individuals have rights under the FOI Act to request access to government documents. The FOI Act also requires agencies to publish specified categories of information, and allows them to proactively release other information.

This section is concerned with the FOI Act as it applies across the Australian Government. Information about making a freedom of information (FOI) request to the OAIC is available on the Access our information page.

paying for private mistakes out of the public purse...

Australian taxpayers will be forced to subsidise the clean-up costs of oil spills in the Great Australian Bight thanks to the terms of the controversial petroleum resource rent tax.

Treasury officials have confirmed that oil companies would be able to claim a tax deduction under the PRRT for expenses incurred cleaning up oil spills.

Different “uplift rates” would apply to clean-up costs depending on whether the spills resulted from exploration or production activity.

read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/25/taxpayers-to-pay-...

zoidberg in the great aussie bight...

 

Every winter thousands of giant Australian cuttlefish gather to breed in a stretch of shallow, rocky water off Point Lowly in South Australia. The phenomenon, known as an aggregation, is the only known instance of cuttlefish gathering in such large numbers – it is estimated there can be more than 150,000 in a 10km stretch of water – and has become a tourist as well as scientific attraction. This video, taken by mpaynecreative.tv, captures male cuttlefish as they display their brightest pigments in a bid to attract females. It is not known why the giant Cuttlefish aggregate in this area particularly but it is believed they are likely attracted to the shallow rocky area along the coast as it provides optimal habitat to lay their eggs. Video courtesy of mpaynecreative.tv


read more:


https://www.theguardian.com/environment/video/2017/jul/19/brilliant-disp...

 

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see also:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdhokojWtYQ

a spill could hit land as far away as New South Wales...

BP’s plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight were controversial from the outset. The regulator twice rejected its environmental safety plan.

For the first time, Climate Home News can reveal why. Government documents have been released under freedom of information laws, nearly two years after they were requested. BP had tried to suppress the information.

A major oil spill in the sensitive seascape would pollute up to 750km of beaches and shoreline, according to BP’s own modelling, and the company thought drilling may disrupt migration of the endangered southern right whale.

Two letters from the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (Nopsema) to BP in 2015 and 2016 show BP had failed to address the regulator’s concerns about managing these risks. The details suggest it will be costly for any oil company to drill the area in an environmentally responsible way.

BP withdrew its plans to drill in October 2016, citing better options for investment. But the company said the Bight remained a prospect and still owns two of the four offshore leases that were subject to the original plans.

The other two leases were passed from BP to Statoil last year and the Norwegian firm, which was a partner in BP’s initial project, intends to drill an exploratory well in one of them by October 2019. But the Nopsema letters show any oil company seeking to drill that wild and remote corner of the Southern Ocean will face serious regulatory hurdles.

“Given the plan was never finalised, this material doesn’t represent the final views of BP or the regulator,” a spokesperson from BP said, adding that BP had no plans to reactivate its interest in the Bight. Chevron has also since dropped its own plans for the area.

In 2016, BP released modelling showing a spill could hit land as far away as New South Wales. The letters revealed that BP’s “worst case shoreline oiling scenario predicts oiling of 650km coastline [sic] at 125 days after the spill, increasing to 750km after 300 days”. Nopsema had raised concerns over BP’s ability to mobilise the people and equipment needed to clean-up such a vast expanse of coast.

 

READ MORE:

https://www.desmog.uk/2018/04/05/documents-shed-light-bp-s-failures-grea...

 

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employing the locals...

An oil spill in the Great Australian Bight would provide a "welcomed boost" to local economies, BP said in a 2016 report released under Freedom of Information laws.

Key points
  • A BP spokesperson says the statement "did not reflect BP's views"
  • BP made the statements in March 2016 in an environment plan during its bid to drill in the pristine region
  • Ceduna's Mayor said if there was a risk of an oil spill, drilling would not be supported

 

BP made the statements in an environment plan in March 2016 during its bid to drill in the pristine region, but a spokesman for the company says it "did not reflect BP's views".

The report was submitted to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), but obtained by London-based website Climate Home News.

A search of the report revealed a suggested edit for the document stating there are statements that "should be removed": 

"Examples include stating that impacts of spill response strategies may be offset by the use of vessels from the local fishing fleet … and stating that "in most instances, the increased activity associated with clean up operations will be a welcome boost to [local] economies."

South Australia's coastal town of Ceduna was predicted to be one of the many communities impacted if an oil spill ever occurred in the Bight.

 

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-06/oil-spill-in-great-australian-bigh...

 

 

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more insanity from the trumbleshit government...

Od course... And this insane move comes after the government starts to "warn about oil security and all that" a few weeks ago.

If you believe in "coincidences", you should start to understand conspiracies or "propaganda":

The government has released a new acreage for offshore oil and gas exploration in the Great Australian Bight that green groups says should have been kept off limits after it was cancelled by BP.

The permit is one of two that BP cancelled after the company abandoned its plans for oil and gas drilling in the bight in 2016. Its remaining two permits were sold to the Norwegian oil and gas multinational Statoil.

On Tuesday the government released 21 new acreages that petroleum companies will be able to bid for across six basins off Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/15/more-of-the-great-au...

 

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no to drilling in the great australian bight...

After months of fierce community debate, Port Lincoln City Council on South Australia's West Coast has become the 13th local council to oppose drilling in the Great Australian Bight. 

The council's formal opposition has no direct impact on whether or not drilling precedes, but the debate and council's stance has divided the community. 

"The community and certainly the council has had a fair go at this," Mayor Bruce Green said after the vote. 

"We have had some to-ing and fro-ing on it and now we have a position. It's nice to clear the air a little bit."

The issue has seen the community hold a special council meeting on the topic, host regular visits from oil company Equinor representatives, attend a drop-in session with the regulator, and environmental groups have held film screenings to galvanise opposition.

There have also been regular flare-ups on social media.

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-05/port-lincoln-votes-no-to-oil-drilling-in-bight/

 

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oil leak...

It's an environmental disaster that has been going on for almost fifteen years. In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan devastated the Gulf of Mexico. Below sea level, huge landslides occured. The 23051 oil rig, located 20 kilometers off the coast of Louisiana, was destroyed. Its owner, Taylor Energy, tried to plug the leaks. Out of twenty-eight drills, from which oil escapes, six are plugged in one year. But hurricanes Katrina and Rita, in 2005, put an end to any attempts at any more plugging.

No need to worry, argues Taylor Energy, who is fighting a federal order in court ordering it to continue plugging operations. Only "fifteen litres of oil are leaking daily into the vast Gulf of Mexico and these are more the result of a natural process, sedimentation, than a possible leak", told executives of the company to The New York Times.


One of the biggest oil leaks in the United States has been spreading for fourteen years: 


A report by the US Ocean and Atmospheric Observing Agency (NOAA), released Monday (June 24th), however, shattered the story of Taylor Energy. According to the federal agency, the platform has leaked up to 17,000 litres of oil daily for fifteen years — more than 1,000 times the estimate given by the drilling company.

 

Read more:

https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/06/26/maree-noire-dans...

 

 

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oil leak daily...

It's an environmental disaster that has been going on for almost fifteen years. In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan devastated the Gulf of Mexico. Below sea level, huge landslides occured. The 23051 oil rig, located 20 kilometres off the coast of Louisiana, was destroyed. Its owner, Taylor Energy, tried to plug the leaks. Out of twenty-eight drills, from which oil escaped, six are plugged in one year. But hurricanes Katrina and Rita, in 2005, put an end to any attempts at any more plugging.

No need to worry, argues Taylor Energy, which is fighting a federal order in court ordering it to continue plugging operations. Only "fifteen litres of oil are leaking daily into the vast Gulf of Mexico and these are more the result of a natural process, sedimentation, than a possible leak", told executives of the company to The New York Times.


One of the biggest oil leaks in the United States has been spreading for fourteen years: 


A report by the US Ocean and Atmospheric Observing Agency (NOAA), released Monday (June 24th), however, shattered the story of Taylor Energy. According to the federal agency, the platform has leaked up to 17,000 litres of oil, daily, for fifteen years — more than 1,000 times the estimate given by the drilling company.

 

Read more:

https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/06/26/maree-noire-dans...

 

 

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nothing to do with the slick...

More than a month since oil started washing up on some of Brazil’s most touristic beaches, dotting sand with black patches, killing sea turtles and scaring off fishermen, the origin of the crude is still a mystery.

“We don’t know the oil’s origin, where it came from or how it got here,” Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque said at an offshore exploration auction in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.

The crude probably leaked from a ship in the ocean, he ventured, adding that it has characteristics similar to Venezuelan heavy crude -- which doesn’t mean it comes from there. Venezuela’s state oil company categorically denied having anything to do with the slick, saying there were no reports of incidents at its facilities or from clients, nor evidence of leaks that could have led to damages in Brazil.

The massive spill has already spread along the coasts of all nine states in Brazil’s northeast. Over a dozen sea turtles have been found dead, covered in crude, local newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported. Some 800 baby turtles that hatched were kept from going into the sea, the newspaper said, citing Projeto Tamar, one of Brazil’s best-known wildlife conservation projects.

The nation’s environmental agency said the oil found on the beaches was not produced by Brazil, and that the country’s Navy and federal police are investigating the spill.

On Wednesday, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles saidthe oil likely originated from Venezuela, citing a report from state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA about the characteristics of the crude.

Petrobras Chief Executive Officer Roberto Castello Branco said Tuesday that the spill could have come from an oil tanker that sank, an accident when loading oil from one tanker to another, or from a criminal act. President Jair Bolsonaro has said for days that the oil spill was probably criminal, without elaborating further.

— With assistance by Sabrina Valle, Peter Millard, and Fabiola Zerpa

 

read more:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-10/oil-is-killing-brazil...

 

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a sanctuary for whales and surfers...

A growing number of South Australians want the Great Australian Bight put on the World Heritage List as a decision on oil exploration in the region looms.

An Australia Institute poll of more than 500 people has found 84 per cent now support world heritage protection, up from 77 per cent in March.

The survey also showed that 66 per cent believe the Bight would be a more productive asset for SA as a marine park than as an oil field.

The results come on a day of national action as environmental groups and others oppose plans by Norwegian energy company Equinor to drill an exploration well about 370 kilometres off the South Australian coast.

 

 

Read more:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/11/23/anti-drilling-bight-...

 

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degrading the landscape and risks of leaks...

The Norwegian energy giant Equinor has been granted environment approval for its controversial bid to drill to explore for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

The decision, announced by the federal offshore petroleum regulator on Wednesday, means Equinor has cleared the second, and most significant, of four regulatory hurdles it needs to pass before it can start drilling.

Environment groups immediately flagged a likely legal challenge to the decision by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, known as Nopsema.

The company says its plan shows drilling in waters more than 2km off the South Australian coast can be done safely. Opponents say Equinor has failed to properly consult with affected groups, the bight is a unique marine environment that includes the world’s most important nursery for the endangered southern right whale and rough seas make the proposed site a risky place to drill.

Nopsema said it had approved the plan after a rigorous assessment that took almost eight months. Equinor still needs a well operations plan and a facility safety case approved before it can begin drilling.

 

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/18/great-australian-...

 

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As well as the risk of leaks, the pristine landscape — the vista of the sea in the Bight — will be scarred by dirty drilling platforms... Go away Norway.

the threat of a catastrophic oil spill...

A legal challenge against plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight has been launched in the Federal Court.

Key points:
  • Equinor was given conditional approval to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight last month
  • The Wilderness Society is challenging the decision in the Federal Court
  • It said Equinor failed to consult adequately with environmental organisations

 

The Wilderness Society is taking the national regulator — the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) — to court after it granted conditional environmental approval to Norwegian oil company Equinor to conduct drilling.

The society alleges Equinor did not consult "important and relevant parties", which it said was required by regulations.

Equinor, which is majority owned by the Norwegian Government, plans to drill its Stromlo-1 exploration well 372 kilometres south of the Nullarbor coastline, off South Australia.

Last month's environmental approval will allow the company to drill 24 hours a day for about 60 days between November and April in either 2020–21 or 2021–22.

Drilling in the Bight has been fiercely opposed by environmental groups concerned about the threat of a catastrophic oil spill.

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-22/federal-court-challenge-launched-...

 

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