Chevron abandons Nice Australian Bight drill plans

Vitality large Chevron Friday joined BP in ditching plans to drill within the Nice Australian Bight citing weak oil costs, with environmentalists urging different main gamers to comply with go well with.

The corporate had deliberate to drill exploration wells to search for oil or pure gasoline after buying two deepwater blocks spanning greater than 32,000 sq. kilometres (12,355 sq. miles) off the pristine South Australian coast in 2013.

However its plans sparked environmental concern with the large Bight a haven for whales, seals, dolphins and penguins and residential to sea eagles and albatross.

British oil large BP deserted its plans to drill within the space final 12 months after reviewing its world exploration programme.

Chevron Australia managing director Nigel Hearne mentioned whereas the Bight had massive potential, low oil costs had pressured it to focus on different initiatives.

He pressured it was a business choice and never associated to environmental considerations or regulatory points.

“We admire the sturdy help from governments, regulators and the local people for our plans to probe for hydrocarbons offshore South Australia,” he mentioned in an announcement.

Chevron’s focus will as an alternative shift to newly-acquired acreage off Western Australia.

Australian Petroleum Manufacturing and Exploration Affiliation director Matthew Doman mentioned the choice was disappointing, including that success within the Bight would ease Australia’s reliance on imported oil.

“In Australia, onshore and offshore oil and gasoline exploration is at 30-year lows as a consequence of troublesome market situations, escalating regulatory prices and political bans on power growth,” Doman mentioned.

However environmentalists cheered the transfer, with the Wilderness Society urging Norway’s Statoil and different corporations looking for to drill within the space to comply with BP and Chevron’s lead.

“Statoil, Santos, Murphy and Karoon will face the identical large prices and rising group opposition that BP and Chevron skilled,” mentioned the society’s South Australia director Peter Owen.

Jeff Hansen, the Australian chief of activist group Sea Shepherd, additionally backed the transfer, saying the danger of oil spills in such pristine waters was too nice.

“BP and Chevron must be applauded for doing the accountable and proper factor right here,” he mentioned.

“We urge Norway’s Statoil to do the identical or face an ever higher opposition because the motion for the safety of the Bight grows stronger by the day.”