Improved transparency for oil drilling welcomed but Statoil still manages to dodge full scrutiny

Press release - 28 November, 2017
November 29, 2017: Greenpeace has welcomed an announcement that consultation and transparency of offshore petroleum projects will be improved but warns it will come too late for communities around the Great Australian Bight where seismic testing and oil drilling are proposed next year.

The Minister for Resources, Matt Canavan, today endorsed a series of changes recommended in the Industry Department’s Offshore Petroleum Consultation and Transparency Review, including a requirement that environment plans be subject to a public ‘consideration’ period.

“Australia is the only country in the OECD that doesn’t have a public consultation process for these high-risk oil exploration approvals,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner, Nathaniel Pelle, said.

“Opening up dangerous offshore  oil and gas proposals up for public scrutiny would finally bring Australia up to a standard long demanded by the rest of the world and required in similar resource extraction industries like mining on land - a measure the oil and gas industry has long resisted.”

But Greenpeace warned the move will come too late for communities around Australia’s southern coastline with consultation for seismic testing and Norwegian oil giant Statoil’s drilling plans unlikely to be held to the new standard.  

“The Minister has been sitting on these recommendations since last December,” Pelle said.

“And now that he has moved so late to endorse them, with no timeline proposed for changes to the regulation, we are likely to see both Statoil’s major drilling plans as well as seismic testing proposals sneak through without full public scrutiny.”

For interviews contact:

Simon Black

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

0418 219 086 /